Every year I plant way too much Swiss chard. In my defense, it’s such an easy vegetable to grows and I forget how much just a couple rows will produce. Then I work all fall chopping, blanching and freezing dozens of bags of Swiss chard, only to have the family complain about it.
Then I discovered this recipe and a whole new world opened up. Now the family asks for this and there are never any leftovers. Yes, the recipe is called Parmesan Creamed Spinach but it works fine for any spinach-like leafy green: Swiss chard, beet greens, etc.
1 lb leafy vegetable: spinach, Swiss chard, beet greens, whatever you like
1 Tsbp butter
2 tsp flour
1 C cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375°.
Chop or shred spinach, about 1/2″ pieces.
Put the spinach in a 9 X 9 glass baking dish or shallow casserole dish.
Melt butter in a small saucepan and add flour to make a reux. Stir for a minute, just until the flour starts to be lightly browned. Add cream, salt and nutmeg and stir until thoroughly mixed. Remove from heat before it starts to boil.
Pour the cream sauce over the spinach. Use a fork to stir everything around so that the spinach is thoroughly and evenly coated with sauce.
Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling in the middle of the dish.
Remove the foil and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly on top. Return to the oven and bake another 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and a tiny bit crusty.
You can use fresh or frozen spinach. (That’s how we’re using up all our bags of Swiss chard frozen from this year’s garden.) If you’re using frozen spinach, thaw it and chop it a bit more. Be sure to squeeze all excess moisture out.
I prefer heavy cream but you can use half and half if you like. Sometimes I’ve found myself a bit short on cream and have substituted a portion of the cream with sour cream and a bit of milk to get the liquidy texture of the original sauce. It works great and tastes great as well.
As for the Parmesan cheese, of course fresh is always best. Or you can use the grated kind from the dairy section of the store. Just don’t use the dried stuff in the plastic canister!