Made with frozen spinach and heavy cream, this easy yet elegant side dish can be made ahead of time and reheated in the microwave.
Servings: 6 to 8
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cupfinely chopped shallots, from 1 to 2 shallots
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pint (2 cups)heavy cream
¼ teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
Pinchfreshly grated nutmeg, or use ground nutmeg
½ cupfinely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 poundsfrozen cut leaf spinach, thawed and squeezed very dry (see note)
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute more. Do not brown. Add the heavy cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and bring to a gentle boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the cream is thick enough to coat a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Add the spinach and stir until evenly combined with the cream sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. (If the spinach seems a little watery, cook over medium-low heat until any excess liquid evaporates.) Serve warm.
Note: Cut leaf spinach is not the same as chopped spinach. If your market doesn't carry cut leaf spinach, look for frozen whole leaf spinach. (Chopped spinach will work but the texture won't be as appealing.) Some markets carry 1-lb bags and some carry 10-oz boxes; if you can only find the 10-oz boxes, you'll need three of them. If you'd like to start with fresh spinach, you'll need about 2 pounds baby spinach leaves. Steam and drain the baby spinach, then roughly chop and measure out 2 packed cups.
Make-Ahead Instructions: This dish can be made and refrigerated a day ahead of time. Reheat in the microwave, uncovered, stirring every 30 seconds or so, until hot, a few minutes. When reheated, the spinach won't be quite as creamy-looking as it was originally (though the taste will be the same); you can add a bit of cream when reheating to get a creamier consistency, if you'd like.