Potato, Ham, and Spinach Gratin
Adding spinach freshens up an old favorite—but then you have to solve the soggy problems it creates.
Why This Recipe Works
Cheesy, creamy potato gratin is rich and comforting, but we wanted to see if we could add a fresh, vibrant, vegetal twist to this classic dish. Finding a way to incorporate spinach into the casserole is challenging, since spinach and potatoes cook at different rates. Instead of sandwiching spinach between layers of potatoes—as other recipes call for—we put the green stuff on top where it can release moisture without steaming. Baby spinach stands up to the potatoes after a quick sauté, and scaling back on the potatoes a bit ensures that they will cook through before the spinach loses its brilliant green color. Russet potatoes contribute enough starch to thicken a simple sauce of heavy cream and chicken broth bolstered by grated Parmesan cheese. To add a little meaty complexity to the dish, we opt for finely chopped Black Forest ham mixed in with the spinach.
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