Friday, December 15, 2017

Baked Creamed Baby Spinach and Baby Kale

I have this ability that is a little unusual. I somehow can pick up a favorite food of a person who is coming to visit and I end up making it for them.  It's not something I try to do, it just comes to me and it always makes me happy. I had a friend visit the other day and was inspired to make Creamed Spinach and Baby Kale, which was perfect because Creamed Spinach is one of her favorite foods. It's a really simple dish and perfect as a side dish to a steak or roast. The Baby Kale gives the dish a depth of flavor that Spinach alone doesn't and the Parmesan Cheese brings in a savory note that is a counterpoint to the sweetness of the Cream and the hint of Nutmeg.  It's a rich, unctuous way to cook greens and can easily be prepared ahead to pop into the oven while the rest of the dinner cooks.  I am sharing it with you in the hope that you love it too!

Baked Creamed Baby Spinach and Baby Kale

2 Tablespoons of Butter
1 5 ounce package Baby Spinach
1 5 ounce package Baby Kale
1/4 teaspoon Salt
A very light sprinkling of Nutmeg
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a frying pan, melt the Butter and add in the Baby Spinach and Baby Kale. Cook just until the greens are wilted and take off the heat. Sprinkle on the Salt and Nutmeg and pour in the Cream, mix to combine. Then put into a heat proof ramekin or baking dish. Smooth the top and sprinkle the Parmesan Cheese over the greens evenly. If serving later, cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Place in the oven and cook until it is bubbling and the Cheese is browned.  This takes about 15 - 20 minutes. It will take slightly longer if it has been refrigerated. Serve immediately.

Five Element Analysis

Since this dish is composed primarily of leafy green vegetables, it is definitely a Wood Element food. The Cream, Parmesan and Nutmeg also bring in the Metal Element. So this is a very good side dish for Steak or a Beef, which are from the Earth Element or Lamb from the Fire Element. 

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