Gratin of Spinach Lentils Sylvan Star Gouda

From Paul Rogalski, chef and owner of Rouge Restaurant

2008 Jan/Feb

There is much to be said for the legume family: they’re inexpensive, full of good nutrition, and they lend themselves to varied and interesting soul-warming preparations.


  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 1 leek, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 carrot, washed and diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 c. brown or green lentils, washed and drained
  • 3 c. chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4 c. fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 T. butter
  • 2 T. shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 T. whipping cream
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 c. grated medium Sylvan Star gouda
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


In a medium-large pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the leek, carrot and bay leaf. Add lentils and cover with stock. Cover the pot and gently simmer for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, or until lentils are just tender. Remove bay leaf. Add spinach and cover the pot to let the spinach wilt. Set aside to cool.

Melt butter in a sauté pan and sauté shallots until slightly brown, then add cream and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and add the Sylvan Star gouda; stir constantly until mixture is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove from heat. Place the spinach/lentil mixture in a casserole dish and cover with the cheese sauce. Bake in a preheated 400°F oven until the casserole bubbles, 20 to 30 minutes. Set the oven to broil and broil on high until the cheese browns slightly. Remove gratin from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 4 to 6.