Bay leaf is one of those herbs you rarely taste, but it’s there. It’s like a great bass player in a jazz band, or the base note in a perfume. It’s subtle and un-showy, bringing the whole dish together. McCormick Gourmet Turkish Bay Leaves, with their earthy savoriness, are easily distinguished from the medicinal taste of their Californian counterpart. I’m using them in today’s recipe, a creamy and delicious spinach dip. The bay leaves add a wonderful round flavor to the béchamel, which serves as the base for this dish. Serve this dip with crusty baguette for the perfect cold weather appetizer. Enjoy!
For more recipes like this one, make sure to check out www.McCormick.com.
1 pounds yellow onions, cut into 1/8-inch-thick half moons
1 pound spinach
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups bay leaf béchamel (recipe below)
1 1/2 cups (packed) grated Gruyère cheese (about 6 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the butter, onion, spinach, and garlic. Saute until the onion is just turning golden brown, and the spinach is fully cooked. About 10 minutes.
Generously butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange half of the onion mixture in bottom of prepared dish, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Spread half of bay leaf béchamel over onions and sprinkle with half of cheese. Top with remaining onion mixture, overlapping slightly; sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Spread with remaining béchamel; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake gratin uncovered 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Continue to bake gratin until onions are tender and top is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
INGREDIENTS (BAY LEAF BECHAMEL)
1 pint milk
2 sprigs of parsley
1/2 small onion, sliced
1/4 teaspoon chili flake
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup grated parm
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Bring the milk and everything else except for the butter, flour, and Parmigiano to a simmer.
In a separate sauce pan, melt the butter and add the flour. Stir until doughy and smelling a bit nutty (about one minute). Strain in the milk about a half-cup at a time, whisking to incorporate with the butter and flour mix. It should be smooth and velvety, not chunky or too thick. If it is, just add some more milk to thin it out.