In Greek: σπανάκι με σπαράγγια ογκρατέν, pronounced spah-NAH-kee meh spah-RAHG-yah oh-grah-TEN
Ograten (au gratin) dishes became part of the Greek cooking experience in the early 1900s, and this combination of fresh spinach and asparagus on a bed of grated potatoes, with cream and sharp cheese is a delicious example of this type of cooking. Serve as a meatless main dish or side.
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1 pound of leeks, finely chopped
- 1 pound of fresh asparagus, cut in small pieces
- 3 pounds of fresh spinach, washed, drained, and coarsely chopped
- 3-4 tablespoons of fresh dill, finely chopped
- 2 1/2 – 3 cups of grated potato
- 1 pound of cheese, grated (sharp, mild, or a mixture – to taste)
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons of sea salt (optional, depending on the saltiness of the cheese)
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
In a large stew pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add leeks and sauté until soft. Add asparagus and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add spinach, stirring constantly until the liquid begins to gather and boil in the bottom of the pot. Stir in dill, salt, and pepper. Cook for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain in a colander and transfer to a mixing bowl.
Preheat oven to 350°F (approximately 175°C)
Spread the grated potatoes evenly on the bottom of a 11 X 11 inch (or equivalent) baking pan. Sprinkle with 2/3 cup of the grated cheese, and set aside 1 cup of grated cheese for the topping.
Stir the remaining cheese and the heavy cream into the spinach and asparagus mixture. Spread the mixture on top of the potatoes and sprinkle the top with the 1 cup of cheese set aside earlier.
Bake at 350°F (approximately 175°C) for 40-45 minutes until the top is a deep golden.
Remove from oven and let sit for 30 minutes before serving.
Yield: serves 6 as a main dish, 9-10 as a side dish