Welcome to Mad Men Week! Every day this week, I’m celebrating the March 25 return of “Mad Men” with recipes inspired by the show. Today’s Creamed Spinach Gratin makes a great side for yesterday’s T-Bone Steak.

Can we talk sides for a second?

Sides are usually my favorite part of a meal. But dreaming them up for dinner night after night can be so BORING. Like, “Imma give myself a lobotomy with a spoon” boring.

You know what I mean. You can only have salad, taters or green beans so many times before people rebel.

This Creamed Spinach Gratin is a great solution. It’s very similar to other creamed spinach recipes in that you combine the spinach with cream, milk, butter, onion and a little dash of nutmeg (which I can’t think of now without thinking about the K-Y Intense commercial).

Wonderful spice, nutmeg is.

But then you take the spinach a few steps further, mixing in a handful of Parmesan, topping it with Parmesan and Gruyére, and baking it until the cheeses are bubbly.

It’s rich and silky and so full of flavor. You’ll be eating breakfast the next day and thinking about that spinach.

Which you couldn’t do if you’d given yourself a lobotomy.

Stay strong!

Even More “Mad Men”:

Blue Hawaiian

Jameson and Ginger

Rum French Toast with Maple-Rum Syrup

“Big Texas Belt Buckle” T-Bone Steak

Creamed Spinach Gratin

No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake

Stupendous Strawberry Shake

“Mad Men” Menu Ideas (2010)

“Mad Men” Premiere Menu (2009)

Spinach Gratin

Adapted from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa Parties!”

Makes 8 servings

  • 3 pounds frozen chopped spinach, defrosted (5 (10-ounce) packages)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  1. Transfer your thawed spinach to a large baking dish or bowl. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium heat.
  4. Add the onions, and saute until translucent, about 15 minutes.
  5. Add the flour and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes.
  6. Add the cream and milk, and cook until thickened.
  7. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the spinach, and add the spinach to the sauce. Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and mix well. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  8. Transfer the spinach to a baking dish, and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and the Gruyere on top. Bake for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve hot.