This hearty side dish pairs perfectly with a light main, such as a soup or slice of quiche. Go fancier by baking the gratin in individual dishes.
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped onion
8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
6 ounces pork sausage
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
12 ounces fresh spinach, trimmed
2 ounces French bread baguette, torn into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 450°.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; swirl. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add sausage, salt, and pepper; sauté 5 minutes, stirring to crumble. Remove mixture from pan; drain. Wipe pan.
Return sausage mixture to pan. Stir in flour; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Combine milk and eggs, stirring well. Reduce heat to medium. Stir milk mixture into sausage mixture; bring to a boil, and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in spinach. Spoon spinach mixture into an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Place bread in a food processor, and pulse until 1 cup coarse crumbs form. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Stir in crumbs, and sauté for 3 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Sprinkle crumbs over spinach mixture, and top with cheese. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until bubbly.
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I thought this was really delicious. I did a few things differently but nothing drastic. I had stale homemade bread, which I cubed, tossed with olive oil, dried thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper and toasted in a 350 oven for 15 minutes. while that was cooling off I made the rest of the dish, the only other change was that I used 4 links Italian sausage, which I cut in 1 inch chunks, leaving the casing on, instead of crumbling. I then crumbled the cooled off toasted bread with my hands before sprinkling on top with the cheese (no way was I about to drag out my food processor for that!). I also used an oven-proof frying pan so no need to dirty a baking dish. I am wondering if those that had a disappointing, soggy texture may have used frozen spinach because I can definitely imagine that would be soggy. I am putting this one into regular rotation.
Overall a good recipe. But you must love spinach (which I do)! I found it filling enough for an entree, and mine set up just fine. I think the type of sausage you use also contributes to the flavor quite a bit - if I make it again I might change the sausage just to experiment a little.
I was concerned about this dish before baking. It is pretty much all spinach with a bit of sausage, garlic, and onion. It actually came out very well. Rich and Creamy. The sausage bits were a wonderful contrast to the spinach. My husband and I both thought it was very tasty. Unfortunately, it is not at all filling. I ended up eating 2 servings. My husband had one serving and a bowl of left over chili. At 396 calories per serving, this dish isn't worth it.
this is a really yummy & filling dish. i would suggest patting down the sausage with a paper towel even after draining it & cooking it an extra 2-5 minutes...the spinach puts off a lot of excess water, so i may pre-cook it & pat it down to pull off some of that moisture next time i make this!! i may follow a few others & add more garlic next time too...
overall i enjoyed this dish & will add it to my staples meals :)
I really enjoyed this dish, but I'm rating a "2" as I made significant changes which I believe resulted in my higher opinion of the dish. It's also pretty "ugly" as a dish and the texture is (I agree with other reviewers) a bit mushy, BUT, the major change I made (which was to brown the bread as the 1-inch pieces for a "crouton") really helped give this dish a contrast in texture that was much needed. I also added 3 thick-cut bacon slices (chopped) to the sausage browning stage and subbed pork sausage for Jennie-O spicy turkey sausage (3). I feel our dish needed more spinach actually and I had to cook ~5 minutes longer as well to make sure it was done. I served with roasted grape tomatoes (it helped this dish "look" nicer as well), which was fabulous as a side. I will absolutely make this recipe again with my changes though I do agree with other reviewers that it isn't very "filling" so we overindulged our portion sizes too. Wouldn't take to share, but good at home; Enjoy!
My husband and I loved this dish! I cooked it an extra 5 minutes to reduce some of the moisture. Other than that, the texture was what I expected for a dish dominated by spinach. I had fresh elephant garlic from the farmer's market that may have made a difference in the fabulous flavor. I will be sure to focus on good garlic as I continue to make this, which I plan to do often. This would make a great brunch dish.