Spinach Marguerite

"I think the dish was originally called Spinach Madeline. Chef Folse calls it Spinach Marguerite. In my family, we called it Christmas Spinach! We would serve it along with Tomato Aspic on Christmas Eve. It made a natural holiday table decoration with the red and green. Everyone would arrived at my mother’s home with presents galore, in anticipation of the festive food and the many gifts! Because the spinach and aspic were served with crackers, even the children would eat it. They thought it was ‘treat’ and never realized that it was good for them! Though my parents are no longer living and we no longer have the large family holiday gatherings, my children still enjoy this special spinach dish." Janet Arnett, Houma, Louisiana


  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced garlic
  • 1 cup finely chopped ham or tasso
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely diced jalapeno peppers
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • hot sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a 4-quart sauce pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic and chopped ham or tasso. Saute 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Sprinkle in flour and, using a wire whisk, stir constantly until white roux is achieved. Do not brown. Slowly add whipping cream, stirring constantly until all is incorporated. Add tomatoes, cheddar cheese and jalapeno peppers. Continue cooking for an additional 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly, as mixture will tend to stick. Add a small amount of heavy whipping cream should mixture become too thick. Season to taste using salt, pepper and hot sauce. Remove from heat and add spinach, stirring well into the seasoned white sauce. Place mixture in baking dish, cover, and bake until bubbly, approximately 20-25 minutes. Serve immediately. This spinach casserole doubles nicely as a hot hors d’oeuvre when served with garlic croutons.

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