We are constantly trying out new recipes here at Casa Elise, and even jokingly refer to our kitchen as the “test kitchen”. However, many recipes never make it to this site because often they just aren’t good enough. In fact, some are downright awful. When we do find a good one, we declare it a “winner” and often make it again so I can get a good photo. This is one of those recipes. Not a big one for casseroles, I was surprised at how tasty this Potato, Spinach, and Sausage Casserole was. It comes from the charter issue of a new magazine put out by the folks at Cook’s Illustrated, called Cook’s Country, a magazine devoted to home cooking. Our changes were to make the casserole for four people instead of eight and to use both sweet and hot Italian sausage instead of the kind of sausage you slice. If you ever have a hard time convincing a family member to eat their spinach, this would be the recipe to use.
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the baking dish
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 8 oz fresh spinach, washed, dried, and stemmed
- 1/2 lb of Italian sausage (we like 1/2 sweet and 1/2 hot Italian sausage), broken out of casing into small pieces
- 1 large red onion (about 3/4 lb), peeled and sliced thin
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (about 3 medium sized potatoes), peeled and cut into 1-inch chuncks
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
- Dash of nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup of shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a 6x9 or 8x8 inch baking dish.
2 Heat one of the teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add spinach and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Transfer spinach to strainer and drain. When cool, squeeze out liquid and roughly chop the spinach.
3 Wipe skillet clean. Add sausage to skillet and cook over medium-high heat until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Use slotted spoon to transfer sausage to bowl. Wipe skillet clean. Heat remaining oil in skillet and add onions, cooking until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape mixture into bowl with sausage.
4 Meanwhile, place potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring potatoes to boil over high heat, then lower heat to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes, wipe pot dry, put potatoes back into the pot, and mash with butter, cream, vinegar, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir in spinach and 1/2 cup of the cheese.
5 Transfer potato-spinach mixture to prepared baking dish. Top with sausage-onion mixture and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Bake until potatoes are very hot and cheese is golden and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.