We wanted the taste of fresh spinach but the convenience of frozen.
Why This Recipe Works
To turn a favorite green vegetable into a holiday gratin, we started by adapting our existing creamed spinach recipe and adding a crispy topping. But to feed a holiday crowd, it would take a mountain of fresh spinach—and lots of tedious prep. To get the flavor of fresh spinach with the ease of frozen, we wilt 8 ounces of fresh spinach in our creamy, cheesy white sauce as it cooks and then add 2½ pounds of frozen whole-leaf spinach that we squeeze dry and chop fine—this gives a better texture than prechopped frozen spinach. A topping of bread crumbs and Gruyère cheese gets crispy and brown in the oven, and a final sprinkling of parsley and lemon zest keeps the dish fresh and bright.