Spinach Casserole

October 10, 2007


Okay, this is easy. You stir it together, bake it.. If you have any left over, smear it on good sandwich bread with lots of spicy mustard. Honest, it’s great. HARRY

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 (8-ounce) carton cottage cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup buttermilk
4 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and wrung dry by hand
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon plain bread crumbs, divided
1 teaspoon minced, fresh rosemary
2 dashes freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine the eggs and cottage cheese. Add the flour, buttermilk, cheese, spinach, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, rosemary, nutmeg, and pepper, mixing well. Pour into a greased, 1-quart casserole. Top with the remaining 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs and drizzle with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.
Makes 2 servings.

Curried Baked Spinach

June 28, 2007


This baked spinach is so easy, a child could do it. You’ll need lots of curry and fresh parsley and your own bread crumbs. I’m not saying you can’t make a great baked spinach with store-bought crumbs. But … find a baker who makes really good Italian or French bread, buy extra, run it through your food processor, and you’ll be half-way to paradise. A jar of your own bread crumbs in the fridge marks you as a serious cook. And you never know who might be looking. SAM

PS You can make this with olive oil instead of butter. In fact, it’s great with olive oil.

1 (10-ounce) package frozen leaf spinach, thawed and wrung dry by hand
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons melted butter, divided (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs, divided
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Chop the spinach roughly. Add the cream cheese, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, curry powder, parsley, salt, and pepper. Place in a lightly greased 1-quart casserole, top with the remaining 1/4 cup bread crumbs, and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Makes 2 servings.

Spinach Pissaladière

May 17, 2007


Pissaladière is the ancestor of the modern pizza. It’s Mediterranean, originally made with nothing but onions, black olives, and anchovies on a thin pastry crust. This is a fresh spinach spin-off. The toasted pine nuts and Gruyère are fabulous, but crumbled feta would be just as good. Be sure to put the cheese under the spinach so it won’t burn. SAM

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
2 ounces pine nuts
10 ounces fresh spinach
2 ounces Gruyère cheese, finely grated
2 (10-inch) rounds flatbread dough [Yesterday’s recipe without rosemary]
Freshly grated nutmeg

Place a large pizza stone on the middle shelf of the oven and preheat to 550 degrees F.

In a covered chef’s pan over low heat, sweat the onions in 1 tablespoon oil until translucent, about 30 minutes.

In a small, heavy skillet over very low heat, toast the pine nuts, shaking frequently to prevent burning.

Wash the spinach, place it still wet in a large chef’s pan over medium high heat. Cover and steam until wilted, rearranging frequently with tongs, about 4 or 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon oil.

Place the dough on two 12-inch rounds of parchment paper on two pizza peels or heavy baking sheets. Spread evenly with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the Gruyère, onions, pine nuts, and spinach. Sprinkle with nutmeg. One at a time, slide pissaladières and parchment paper onto the stone and bake for 10 minutes or until browned. Slice with a pizza cutter.
Makes two 10-inch pissaladières.