- 1 pound plus 1 cup baby spinach, divided
- 1 cup picked tarragon
- 1 cup picked dill
- 2 cups picked basil
- 2 ounces unsalted butter
- 2 large shallots, small dice
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 pint whole milk
- 1/2 cup grated white cheddar
- 1/2 cup grated Gruyere
- salt, to taste
What I love about this recipe is that it can be served either hot or cold; it can be served cold with chips as spinach dip or hot as a creamed spinach. This recipe also makes the most of soft herbs; people often underestimate the potential of these flavorful greens.
Technique tip: I recommend cooling the spinach over ice immediately after making if not serving then. Cooling down the spinach rapidly helps keep its vibrant green color.
Swap options: Butter can be substituted with olive oil or any neutral-tasting oils. Cheddar and Gruyere can be substituted with other melty cheeses, either sharp or mild.
Start by setting a pot of water on high heat. Once the water reaches a boil, throw in 1 pound of spinach and cook for 30 seconds or until wilted. Once the spinach is wilted, pull it out with a strainer and cool it in a bowl of ice water. Remove the spinach from the ice water and squeeze out as much water as possible. Chop the spinach finely and reserve.2.
In the same pot of water, cook the remaining 1 cup spinach and herbs for the same amount of time. Repeat the same cooking and cooling process. Once cold, remove from the ice water and squeeze out as much water as possible. In a food processor, add the drained ingredients and process until a green paste is made. Add milk, if needed.3.
Place a pot over medium heat and add the butter, shallots and garlic. Cook the garlic and shallots until tender and then add the flour. Cook for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, slowly drizzle in your milk while whisking. Bring the milk up to a simmer and simmer until the milk thickens up. Add all cheeses and whisk until all the cheese melts.4.
Add the reserved chopped spinach and herb paste. Season with salt and serve hot! If saving for another day, I recommend cooling it down immediately to keep the vibrant green color.