Butternut & Spinach Bake
This delicious dish can be upgraded from a side to a main by adding cheese, lentils or other protein.
If you are trying to avoid dairy, replace the feta with olives (or bacon bits). You can also make the white sauce with vegetable stock or broth or any other liquid you prefer.
1 whole butternut (1kg)
4 Tbsp Flour
4 Tbsp butter
Turn oven on to 180C
Prepare the veg:
Dice the onion
Rinse & chop the spinach
Peel and slice the butternut, coat with oil and sprinkle some salt, then lay on a baking sheet and put in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes (Time depends on the thickness of your slices – check to see when it is done – it should be cooked through but not mushy).
Saute the onions with some salt, then add chopped spinach. (cook until liquid is mostly evaporated). Add herbs and a grating of nutmeg if you like.
In another pot, add the flour and the butter, and stir with a wooden spoon or whisk. When the mixture forms a soft delicious ball, add the milk. Leave the milk to heat up before you stir. Once it starts getting little bubbles around the side of the pot, you can gently whisk it to combine with the roux (flour & butter). If you get lumps, just use an immersion blender to smooth. It must be thicker than a normal white sauce, as the spinach releases some water).
Add the white sauce to the spinach & onion, and stir through.
Assemble the bake: layer slices of butternut on your dish, then add creamed spinach, and sprinkle feta , and repeat. Top with creamed spinach and feta.
You can freeze or bake immediately to melt the cheese and get it piping hot
Make it paleo: instead of using a standard white sauce, you can use cauliflower & coconut milk (or bone broth) sauce. Replace cheese with bacon, or chicken.
Make it easier: You can use cream instead of white sauce, or you can use frozen creamed spinach and pre-cut butternut.
Tried this recipe? Let me know how it turned out, and what tweaks you made!