Gratin of Spinach and Hard-Boiled Eggs

Roussin d’Épinards

Preparation info

  • Servings:


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Simple French Food

By Richard Olney

Published 1974

  • About

The roussin should be nursed gently all the way—it must take its own time. The good odor of a bread-and-butter gratin mingled with the browned edges of spinach and the homely marriage made in heaven of spinach and hard-boiled eggs cannot help but stir ancestral memories of farmhouse kitchens and meals taken at scrubbed wooden tables.


  • 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds spinach, parboiled, squeezed, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs
  • Salt, pepper, nutmeg (optional)
  • Butter (for the dish and to top the gratin)
  • About ½ cup breadcrumbs


    Stew the onion in butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft and yellowed, add the spinach, continuing to cook over low heat, for 15 minutes longer, stirring and respreading the mass out on the bottom of the saucepan by tapping into it with the side of a wooden spoon. By this time all the moisture should have evaporated and only a hint of a delicate frying odor should be noticeable. Sprinkle with the flour, stir well, and begin adding the milk in small quantities at a time, stirring and waiting until it has been thoroughly absorbed by the spinach before adding more. Count another 15 minutes or so for the spinach to absorb all the milk, season to taste, and add the hard-boiled eggs, coarsely cut up. Stir well and turn out into a large buttered gratin dish, spreading the mixture smoothly to no more than 1-inch thickness. Sprinkle evenly and liberally with breadcrumbs, distribute paper-thin shavings of butter over the entire surface, and bake at 400° for about 40 minutes or until the surface is crisply golden.