Bonjour à toutes et à tous!

Today, we are going to explore a delicious and comforting dish from French cuisine: creamed spinach. It’s so good!

Spinach: une petite histoire

Spinach, although originally from Persia, has a long culinary history in France. It was introduced to France in the 14th century by Catherine de Medici, who brought it with her as the future queen of France. Spinach quickly became popular in French cuisine and was appreciated for its delicate flavor and versatility.

Spinach is grown in many regions of France, but one of the most famous is the Loire Valley, where the mild climate and fertile soil are perfect for growing these delicious green leaves. The regions of Normandy and Brittany are also known for their high-quality spinach. This is where you can find the freshest and most delicious spinach for preparing our dish.

Spinach: good to eat and good for you

Spinach a “superfood,” packed with a wealth of nutritional benefits. This leafy green is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and several B vitamins. It’s also rich in essential minerals such as iron, potassium, and magnesium. Spinach is particularly renowned for its high folate content, making it an important choice for expectant mothers. Additionally, it’s low in calories and carbohydrates, making it a favorite among those looking to maintain a healthy weight. Furthermore, spinach contains a variety of antioxidants and phytonutrients that are believed to have potential health benefits, such as reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Incorporating spinach into your diet can contribute significantly to your overall well-being and nutritional intake.

Creamed spinach – the perfect side

Creamed spinach is a perfect side dish for many French dishes, such as filet mignon, poached salmon, or frog legs. It adds an elegant touch to any table.

So, the next time you’re looking for a delicious and healthy side dish, give creamed spinach a try. It’s very easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Your guests will surely say “very good” when you serve it, and you can savor a piece of French culinary history with every bite. Enjoy your meal!


A bientôt! Et bonne cuisine!

Gratin d’épinards

Creamed spinach
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 3 lbs young spinach leaves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup cream

Instructions
 

  • Thoroughly wash and drain the spinach.
  • Bring 1 quart (4 cups) of water to a boil in a large stock pot. Add ½ tsp of salt to the boiling water. When the salt dissolves, add the spinach to the water. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes until leaves are wilted.
  • Drain the spinach, pressing out as much water as possible.
  • Finely chopped the spinach and set aside.
  • In a large skillet or sauté pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium low heat. Add 2 teaspoons of flour. Cook the roux, stirring constantly, until it turns a light golden color.
  • Stir in the spinach and cook until the mixture is quite dry.
  • Season with ½ teaspoon salt and the ground nutmeg.
  • Slowly stir in the cream and mix thoroughly to work out any lumps. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the mixture thickens.
  • Serve.

Notes

It’s traditional to serve with small croutons or diced hardboiled egg on top.
For a more festive display, we’ve opted here to serve in hollowed out small pumpkins.
Feel free to experiment. While not traditional, the addition of a bit of grated Parmesan or Gruyere is delicious. A dash or two of hot pepper sauce also is a great addition to this dish.
Frozen spinach also works incredibly well in this recipe. Be sure to thaw the spinach and thoroughly drain it. You can skip the first three steps above (boiling the fresh spinach) and pick up with the recipe at step four.