This is a recipe worthy of being doubled or even tripled. Be forewarned, the measurements below make just enough for two people as a side dish. The curry flavoring and the bite of pecorino cheese adds a unique twist to how one may normally eat spinach. I wish I had made more because it was certainly the star of the show the night we ate this for dinner.
Spinaci Gratinati con Pecorino e Pinoli
Spinach Gratin with Pecorino Toscano and Pine Nuts
from the July/August 2011 issue of La Cucina Italiana
- Fine sea salt
- 3 Tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 1/2 pounds spinach, tough stems removed
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces Pecorino Toscano or other mild sheep’s milk cheese, grated on large holes of box grater (1 cup)
- 1/8 teaspoon curry powder
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, spread pine nuts on a baking sheet, bake until fragrant and just lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let nuts cool.
Submerge spinach in the boiling water and cook until just wilted, about 1 minutes. Drain in a colander, squeezing to extract excess water.
Heat broiler. In a large gratin dish, spread half of the spinach. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, then sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese and pinch salt. Top with remaining spinach. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon oil, then sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese, pinch salt and curry powder.
Broil until cheese is lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with pine nuts and remaining 1/4 cup cheese; continue to broil, rotating pan once halfway through, until cheese is golden, about 2 minutes more.