Still trying to convince your child that spinach tastes great? This easy version of a creamy, breadcrumb-topped spinach gratin may do the trick. Spinach's mild flavor and not-too-tough texture makes it a great first green for kids. If your family's already on board with leafy veggies, feel free to swap spinach for heartier collards, kale, or mustard greens.
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
2 10-ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed
1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided, plus more for greasing the baking dish
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup 1 percent milk
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper
- Parent: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly butter a 1-quart baking dish.
- Child: Place the spinach in a clean kitchen towel and wrap tightly. Squeeze the spinach in the towel to get rid of as much water as you can!
- Parent: Melt one tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and nutmeg and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook 2 to 3 more minutes, then transfer to a bowl.
- Parent and child: Measure 1/4 cup of the cheese and add the spinach, along with a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Mix well.
- Parent: In a small saucepan, melt another tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Whisk in the milk along with a pinch of salt and cook 1 to 2 more minutes until thickened slightly.
- Parent and child: Pour the sauce over the cooked spinach and mix with a spatula to combine. Transfer the spinach to the prepared baking dish.
- Parent: Melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter for the crumb topping.
- Child: Scatter the crumb topping over the spinach, making sure to spread it evenly.
- Parent: Bake the gratin for 30 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown. Serve.
Per serving: calories 163, fat 11 g, protein 8 g, carbohydrates 10 g, dietary fiber 2 g