The spinach for this dish can be steamed in advance and folded in with the bechamel sauce at the last minute, just to heat it through. From the book "Mad Hungry" by Lucinda Scala Quinn. (Artisan Books)
- 2 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, washed, water still clinging to the leaves
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
Steam the spinach in a large pot for 2 to 4 minutes, until the leaves have all collapsed. The water clinging to the leaves will be enough to cook it. Drain, cool, and squeeze out the liquid in a strainer. Coarsely chop the spinach.
To make the bechamel, heat a saute pan over medium heat, and then melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk until fully incorporated and simmer for 30 seconds. Stir in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Fold in the spinach and serve immediately.