This spinach casserole recipe comes from another unique find in my library’s Friends of Library book sale. Published in 1976, my copy of From a Monastery’s Kitchen features recipes from monasteries around the world. Our Lady of the Resurrection Priory in Cold Springs, New York lent a hand to test the recipes in the book. The cookbook is arranged seasonally and features vegetarian recipes (but a few recipes with fish do pop up).
Between each recipe are various quotes and excerpts from various books, speeches and poems that we selected to reflect the experiences of life as an affirmation of wholeness, simplicity, and joy. I particularly liked this quote which was on the page right across from the casserole recipe.
Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody. – Samuel Pepys
Spinach Casserole with Tomato Topping
From a Monastery Kitchen (1976 edition)
3 cups medium white sauce (6 tablespoons butter, 6 tablespoons flour; stir until foamy, add 3 cups milk, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, dash of nutmeg)*
4 beaten eggs
1 1/2 to 2 cups cubes stale whole wheat bread
2 8 oz boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained or equivalent fresh spinach
sliced cheddar cheese (I used sharp New York cheddar)
Butter a casserole dish. Combine all above ingredients (except cheese) and place in dish. Cover with sliced cheese.
2 or 3 fresh tomatoes (I used about 6 campari tomatoes)
1 large onion (omitted in the making of this recipe)
oregano, parsley, salt, pepper
Cut tomatoes into thick slices and fry briefly with chopped onion, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper.
Place tomato slices and seasonings on top of casserole.
Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and browned, about 1 hour. Serves 6.
*I’ve included the original text from the recipe. By putting in cold butter, I have no idea how I could have made the flour/butter mixture “foamy” before putting the milk in. Perhaps if I melted the butter first? I’m not sure.