Since they were babies, my children have always loved this. Even tonight I heard a quiet little, “Ooo—creamed spinach!” when they sat down. Make this from fresh spinach, cut down on the cream by using 2% milk, and you’ve got a gorgeous vegetable dish that’s packed with flavor and nutrients. You’ll find that a lot of creamed spinach recipes either start with frozen spinach, or if using fresh the recipe directs you to blanch the spinach before creaming. Fresh spinach will release a lot of liquid during cooking, but I use that liquid to help make the cream sauce, so that all the vitamins end up in your serving bowl.
You have to start out with a ridiculous amount of fresh spinach. When you think about quantity, think about something roughly equal to the size of your head. Then double that amount. Tonight I started with 14 loosely packed cups of chopped fresh spinach, and wound up with 4 cups of creamed spinach.
I’m certainly not claiming that this is a no-fat dish, so if you are planning on serving something like this, then for goodness sake balance out the rest of your meal with simpler dishes. Tonight we had rotisserie chicken, plain baked sweet potatoes, plain brown rice, and fresh strawberries. When you look at the delightful mixture of color on your plate, you can feel good about enjoying this decadent-tasting creamed spinach.
- 14 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 Tbs. butter
- 1/2 c. flour
- 1-1/2 c. milk
- 1/2 c. half and half
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg (optional), or more to taste
- salt, to taste
Rinse the spinach leaves well, and discard the thicker stems. Chop coarsely. In a very large pot, melt the butter and saute the onion until soft. Sprinkle on the flour, and very slowly add the milk and then the half and half, stirring constantly. Add the chopped spinach and stir it in until it is well combined with the sauce. Add the salt and nutmeg. Keep stirring slowly. The spinach with wilt and the mixture will thicken. Heat through on a very low heat, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve while the spinach is still bright green and slightly al dente.