Saturday, December 1, 2012

Spinach Gratin with Pecorino Toscano and Pine Nuts

Another healthy, simple and delicious holiday winner! No heavy cream in this absolutely stunning and decadent spinach gratin. Sheep’s milk cheese adds a lovely tang to the spinach; good quality olive oil and toasted pine nuts send it over the edge. So good … sigh … I should not have made it while no one was home. I’m going to eat it all myself and then will need to hide this post from the husband!

Spinach Gratin with Pecorino Toscano and Pine Nuts
Courtesy of La Cucina Italiana
Serves 4

Fine sea salt
 3 tbsp pine nuts
 1½ pounds spinach, tough stems removed
 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (Use your good stuff for this!)
 4 oz Pecorino Toscano or other mild sheep’s milk cheese, grated on large holes of box grater (We used Manchego because I love it. I’d put it on everything if the husband would let me.)
 1/8 tsp curry powder

Heat oven to 350º.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, spread pine nuts on a baking sheet; bake until fragrant and just lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let nuts cool.

Submerge spinach in the boiling water and cook until just wilted, about 1 minute. Drain in a colander, squeezing to extract excess water. (Use a dish towel to squeeze the water from hot spinach.)

Heat broiler.

In a large gratin dish, spread half of the spinach. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, then sprinkle with ¼ cup cheese and pinch salt. Top with remaining spinach. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon oil, then sprinkle with ½ cup cheese, pinch salt and curry powder.

Broil until cheese is lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with pine nuts and remaining 1/4 cup cheese; continue to broil, rotating pan once halfway through, until cheese is golden, about 2 minutes more.

Editor’s Note: You can also make these in individual gratin dishes like we did. Beautiful presentation for a main course or side dish!

For a printable version of this recipe, please click here.

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