Spinach Casserole

October 10, 2007

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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.

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Curried Baked Spinach

June 28, 2007

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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

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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.