Provençal Spinach Gratin
Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
There are a few versions of spinach gratin in Provence (there it is called a tian). This one is all about spinach – no eggs or cheese, just spinach and lots of garlic, a bit of flour to absorb moisture and hold everything together, and bread crumbs to make the top nice and crisp.
3 pounds bunch spinach, stemmed and washed in 2 changes of water, or 1 1/2 pounds baby spinach
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/4 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons fresh or dry bread crumbs (preferably-whole wheat)
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Oil a 2-quart baking dish or gratin and rub with a cut side of one of the garlic cloves before you chop the garlic.
2. Steam the spinach above an inch of boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is wilted. You will probably have to do this in batches. I like to use a pasta pot with an insert for steaming spinach, as I can get a lot of it into the insert. Rinse briefly with cold water, squeeze gently (you don’t have to squeeze dry) and chop.
3. In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, flour, milk and parsley. Spoon into the gratin dish in an even layer. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top and drizzle on the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
4. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned and the mixture is sizzling. Serve as a starter or a side.
Yield: 4 servings.
Advance preparation: You can prepare this through Step 3 up to a day ahead and refrigerate.
Nutritional information per serving (4 servings): 170 calories; 11 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 7 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 milligram cholesterol; 13 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 220 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 8 grams protein
Martha Rose Shulman is the author of “The Very Best of Recipes for Health.”