Spinach With Bechamel and Eggs
2 or 3 large eggs
1 ounce prewashed spinach (do not use baby spinach)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
1¼ cups regular or low-fat milk
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish
Place the eggs (1 per serving) in a small saucepan and cover them with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn off the heat, cover the saucepan and let it sit for 15-17 minutes.
Meanwhile, stem the spinach. Position an oven rack 4-6 inches from the broiling element; preheat the broiler.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour; cook for about 2 minutes, then gradually add the milk, whisking constantly, to form a slightly thickened bechamel sauce. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg, stirring to incorporate.
Add the spinach to the pot; cover and cook undisturbed for 1 to 2 minutes, then stir to coat the leaves. Once the spinach has wilted a bit, uncover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring a few times and reducing the heat as needed, until the sauce becomes thick enough to hold its shape on a plate. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Turn off the heat.
Drain and peel the eggs; cut them lengthwise into ¼-inch slices. Arrange them in 1 medium-size gratin dish or 2 or 3 individual gratin dishes. Spread the spinach-bechamel mixture evenly over the eggs, making sure they are completely covered, then sprinkle lightly with the cheese.
Transfer to the broiler; cook just long enough to brown the surface in spots. Watch closely, as this can take only a minute or so. Serve hot.
Serves two to three.
Nutrition values per serving (based on 3): 250 calories, 15 g fat (8 g saturated), 15 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 14 g protein, 215 mg cholesterol, 400 mg sodium.
Adapted from "Kids Cook French (Les Enfants Cuisinent a la Française" by Claudine Pepin (Quarry Books, 2015)