Saturday, February 5, 2011

Spinach Bechamel

Another gem from the Green Door cookbook is Spinach Bechamel. Now, the original of this recipe is decidedly *not* lactose free, and you can totally go that route, but I managed to make a version that B could have without taking Lactaid, and I gotta say, it curled even my toes it was so good.

I'm always trying to work leafy greens into our meals. Unfortunately neither of us are big salad eaters (though I do enjoy them in the summer after going to the farmer's market). So I keep an eye out for spinach and kale dishes to add to the rotation, and was tickled this one came out so well. Granted all the butter and cheese sort of lessen the healthy aspects of the greens.... but oh well, so I won't eat it every night ;) This would be an amazing fall dish, with a pork roast and some root veggies.

Spinach Bechamel
1 large bunch fresh spinach or two 10 oz packages of frozen spinach
3 tbsp butter (I used lactose-free margarine)
3 tbsp whole wheat flour (I used white)
1/4 cup half-and-half (I used soy-based cream)
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated (I used lactose-free cheddar)
1 tsp salt

Wash and drain spinach. Blanch briefly and drain, placing in cold water to stop cooking and retain color. Drain and squeeze out excess water, you should have about 2 cups (or two large handfuls) of cooked spinach. Chop and set aside.
On medium heat, melt butter and add flour. Mix to combine and allow to cook slightly to remove the raw flour taste. Add water and stir until thick. Add cream and whisk until smooth (add more water if needed to loosen up). Add half of the cheese and the salt, add spinach and stir to combine. Pour into a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 until cheese is bubbly and brown.

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