Remove tough stems of spinach. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer to a colander and drain. Using the back of a large spoon, press spinach to release as much water as possible, then chop coarsely.
Using a medium saute pan over medium heat, heat the butter. Saute shallots until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Using a wooden spoon, add the flour and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Slowly add warm milk and simmer, whisking, 3 to 4 minutes to thicken. Whisk in cheese (if using) and nutmeg, season with salt and pepper. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 2 minutes..
Prewashed and trimmed spinach in plastic bags is a great convenience, but I prefer to buy it by the bunch. Be sure to wash fresh spinach thoroughly: Trim the stems off each bunch. Fill a sink or pot with cold water and plunge the spinach, 1 bunch at a time, into the water. Swish the spinach around in the water, then transfer the spinach to a large bowl or pot. Pour off the water and rinse out any sand, then repeat 2 or 3 times until no sand is left in the bottom of the sink or pot. If the stems are tough, fold the leaves in half lengthwise and strip or cut the stem away along the folded edge.
If you would like to make this ahead, transfer the creamed spinach to a lightly buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with buttered bread crumbs. Refrigerate until 40 minutes before serving. Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (262g)|
|Recipe Makes: 4 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 69 (49%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 7.6g||10 %|
|Saturated Fat 4.4g||22 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 1.8g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 0.7g|
|Cholesterol 18mg||6 %|
|Sodium 247.5mg||9 %|
|Potassium 1341.9mg||35 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 13.5g||4 %|
|Dietary Fiber 5.1g||21 %|
|Sugars, other 8.3g|
|Protein 8.4g||12 %|
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Calories per serving: 140
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