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A new way to serve spinach, which even children will love.
200g (7oz) baby spinach leaves,or larger tender leaves with all stalks removed
1 tbsp double cream
40g (1½ oz) butter, cut into small pieces
1 shallot, finely chopped
30g (1oz) unsmoked bacon, cut into small slices
100g (3oz) button mushrooms,sliced thinly
60g (2oz) Emmental cheese, freshly grated
salt and pepper
You will need a shallow metal gratin dish, e.g. an oval 22cm x 16cm (8½ x 6 inches), well buttered. If you use a china
dish it will take a little longer to cook.
Wash the spinach well, unless already washed. Boil up a kettle of water, put the spinach in a colander and pour the boiling
water slowly and evenly over the leaves to cook them. If necessary, turn the spinach over using a couple of forks and repeat the process.
Allow to cool a little and, wearing rubber gloves, squeeze as much water as possible from the spinach or the finished dish will be grey and watery.
Transfer to a mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper, and stir in the cream.
In a frying pan, lightly fry the shallot and bacon in half the butter, and then add the mushrooms.
Tip the spinach into the pan, and spread the leaves out as you stir.
Arrange the mixture in the baking dish, sprinkle the cheese evenly on top and dot with the remaining butter.
This can be prepared well in advance but should be brought to room temperature before cooking.
Preheat oven to 200°C, set to Grill, rack position A.
Heat the baking sheet, place the dish on it and cook until bubbling and the cheese is golden brown - takes about 10-15 minutes.
Serve straight away.