I would like to start off by saying that I love spinach. I love it raw in salads. I love it wilted in chicken broth, heavy on the freshly-cracked pepper. I love it slightly cooked and drizzled with olive oil, especially when a clove of two of fresh garlic has been pressed into it. So I believe that it goes without saying that when I saw this recipe posted for a baked spinach dish (a casserole, really), I simply couldn’t help but try it.

The ingredients in my version of the recipe below aren’t too horrible. A tiny bit of butter, and a decent amount of cheese, and the result is a rich and densely flavorful gratin that will pair well with the likes of a steak, or some lamb chops, or a white fish, or a loosely poached egg.


  • 3 pounds fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • 2 tablespoons panko


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Wash your spinach but do not spin or pat it dry
  3. Place spinach in a large pot over high heat and cook, covered, with just the water clinging to leaves, until wilted
  4. Shock the spinach in cold water to stop the cooking and drain again
  5. Squeeze a small amount of the spinach at a time in your hands to extract as much water as possible. Chop the spinach coarsely. You should have about 3 cups of chopped spinach
  6. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter over moderately high heat and stir in the spinach. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the moisture from the spinach has boiled off
  7. Lower the heat and sprinkle with flour, then stir for 2 minutes to cook the flour
  8. Add 2/3 of your stock, simmer for another minute or two, and watch out that the spinach isn’t sticking to the pan
  9. If needed, add all or part of the remaining stock. Season with salt and pepper
  10. Lightly spray/butter/oil a shallow 1-quart baking dish
  11. Stir 1/2 cup cheese into the spinach and pour the mixture into the baking dish
  12. Mix the remaining cheese with panko and sprinkle it on the spinach
  13. Spray the panko topping with olive oil pan spray
  14. Bake until heated through and slightly brown on the top, about 30 minutes

Inspired by this post on smittenkitchen.com