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"Creamed" Spinach

This spinach dish, spiced with cloves, bay leaves, nutmeg, and peppercorns, is deceptively rich -- its sauce is made creamy by skim milk and just a bit of half-and-half.

  • Servings: 4

Photography: Richard Gerhard Jung

Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2001


  • 2 ten-ounce bunches spinach, well washed, tough stems removed
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1 medium onion, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces


  1. Roughly chop spinach leaves; set aside. Combine milk, peppercorns, bay leaves, and cloves in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain into a bowl or measuring cup, discarding solids; set aside.

  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook, whisking constantly for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk mixture; cook, whisking constantly until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Stir in salt, white pepper, nutmeg, and half-and-half. Set aside, covered; keep warm over low heat.

  3. Heat remaining butter in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add spinach a little at a time; turn with tongs until all spinach is added and just wilted. Pour sauce over spinach, and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

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