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Classic Creamed Spinach


Serves 4 to 6

With a subtle infusion of garlic and a bit of Parmigiano-Reggiano, this creamy side dish holds its own against the steakhouse competition.

  • 2 lb. fresh spinach (mature crinkly leaves, not flat baby leaves), stems removed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 oz. (1 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Wash the spinach thoroughly using 2 or 3 changes of water, but don’t dry the leaves. Set a 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add half of the wet spinach to it. Season with 1/4 tsp. salt, cover, and steam, tossing frequently, until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a colander in the sink and repeat with the remaining spinach.

Allow the spinach to cool in the colander for several minutes. Using a clean, folded dishtowel, press down on the spinach to remove as much water as possible. Let the spinach rest for a few more minutes and then press again to remove more water. Transfer the spinach to a cutting board, blot again with the towel, and chop very coarsely.

Put the milk, cream, and smashed garlic in a 1-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; then immediately remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.

With a fork, remove most of the smashed garlic from the cream mixture, pressing the garlic against the side of the pan to squeeze out the cream. (It’s fine if small pieces of garlic remain.) Transfer the cream mixture to a liquid measuring cup and add 1/2 tsp. salt, a few grinds of pepper, and a big pinch of nutmeg.

Wipe out the saucepan. Melt the butter in the pan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until pale and smooth, about 1 minute.

Whisk in the cream mixture in a slow, steady stream. Raise the heat to medium and simmer the sauce, whisking constantly, until it thickens and reduces slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Return the chopped cooked spinach to the Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Add the sauce and stir to combine. Add the Parmigiano and mix well. Continue to stir constantly until the spinach is hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with more salt and pepper and serve immediately.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 140, Fat (kcal): 11, Fat Calories (g): 100, Saturated Fat (g): 7, Protein (g): 5, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3, Carbohydrates (mg): 7, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 0.5, Sodium (g): 250, Cholesterol (g): 35, Fiber (g): 2,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Absolutely delicious. One small note: mix the flour with a small amount of water before adding it to the melted butter. After that ensure that your fire is not too hot and keep stirring :)

I just finished preparing this creamed spinach and it definitely rivaled the expensive steakhouse we visit! It was extremely easy to prepare ahead of time then finish the final 3 steps as the tri tip steak was being carved. This is a keeper recipe!

This dish was the perfect accompaniment to an at home steakhouse dinner. The creamed spinach couldn't be easier to whip up, and the smell of the garlic infused bechamel was irresistible. We were so impressed at how delectable this was. Better than any restaurant!

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