This is why I think baby spinach is too delicate for use in typical creamed spinach recipes but if left with a bite to it, partially cooked and coddled in the cream sauce, this is my preferred way to use this year-round vegetable in such a way. Enjoy!
Creamed Spinach Using Tender Greens
4 to 6 servings
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 slices thick-cut smoked bacon, finely chopped
1 -11 oz cello-box baby spinach, stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
7 oz whole milk
1/4 + 2 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add 1 tablespoon butter to a 2-quart casserole.
In a medium 3-qt saucepan, cook bacon until light brown rendering fat. Remove bacon, put aside and discard all but 1 teaspoon of renderings. Add remaining butter, onion, garlic and sauté until onion is light brown around the edges. Add flour, stir and cook for a minute or two and stir in the milk. Stir in seasonings and simmer until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of cheese.
Allow to cool slightly and add in bacon. Fold in spinach, one handful at a time tossing just enough to coat. And yes, all of the spinach will fit into the 3-qt saucepan after it wilts a bit from the warm sauce.
Heat casserole dish to melt butter and coat bottom. Spoon spinach mixture into casserole, top with additional 2 tablespoons of cheese and bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until warm. DO NOT OVERCOOK. Allow the spinach to retain a little texture.
Note: If cooked too long, the spinach will become stringy, the sauce runny and overall, the dish undesirable.
|Baby Spinach in Cream Sauce sans bacon|