I love this recipe because it takes the basics of creamed spinach and upgrades it in pretty much every way. Escarole takes the place of the traditional leafy greens and gets a creamy, cheesy boost from fontina and provolone. It also incorporates sweet caramelized onions for extra flavor.
For the cheese sauce:
Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, add the flour and start to combine, lower the heat and continue to cook. Whisk in the milk and bring the milk to a boil, whisking the entire time. Add the cheese and whisk vigorously until fully incorporated.
For the caramelized onions:
Combine all ingredients together and simmer until onions are very soft and liquid has thickened and has glazed the onions, about 45 minutes.
For the escarole:1.
Preheat oven to 400°F.2.
Place the garlic and olive oil in a pan and cook until tender (do not brown).3.
Add the clean escarole and cook until wilted and tender. Season with salt and transfer to a pan lined with paper towel to drain as it cools.4.
Combine the cooked escarole, cheese sauce and caramelized onions in a mixing bowl. Transfer to a large casserole dish and top with the grated fontina.5.
Wrap in foil and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese sauce begins to bubble.6.
Remove foil and place under a broiler until the cheese has begun to take color. Finish by topping with bacon and serve.