Tyler Florence: This dish was a happy accident. I wanted to serve creamed spinach for our family Christmas dinner but make it a bit more special. Roasted onions and the crunch of bread crumbs really take this old warhorse to the next level. Pair it with a simple grilled steak or beef tenderloin. Serves 4 to 6.
- 2 pounds cipollini onions
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 onion, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 ( 12-ounce ) bags fresh spinach,
- stemmed and washed
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
Place the unpeeled onions in a bowl and cover with very hot water. Set aside for 15 minutes to soften the skins. Drain the onions, then peel and pat dry. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add a 2-count of oil. Add the onions and sauté until they are golden brown all over, about 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and honey, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the mixture has reduced to a syrup and the onions are soft, about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Drizzle with a 2-count of oil, add the butter, and stir it around until it melts. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach in batches, pushing it down into the pan with a wooden spoon to help it wilt and adding more spinach as soon as there is room in the pot.
Cook the spinach until it is dry, then reduce the heat and add the cream and nutmeg. Stir and cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the creamed spinach into a baking dish and top it with the onions and the panko. Bake until the bread crumbs are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.