meatless monday: vegetable florentine

Christmas in Florence: photo by Kate (exchange student and sister extraordinaire)

My kid sister is studying in Florence (following in her older sister’s footsteps, as usual, copyKate!). Historically, the Tuscan diet is based on agriculturally simple, wholesome produce (“peasant food”), so going meat-free is not a challenge if you’re there. (One of these days I’ll post a meatless guide for Florence). Today’s meatless treat is dedicated to Kate and all of the Italian adventures that await her in her final few weeks. We can’t wait to have you stateside again, sissy!

spinach: the key ingredient that typically makes a dish "florentine"

Vegetable Florentine
Serves 4
2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 c. onions, finely chopped
2 tsp. flour
1 tsp. green chiles, finely chopped
2 tsp. milk 
1/4 c. water
1 c. spinach, finely chopped or shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
2 c. chopped mixed vegetables of your choice (think: French beans, cauliflower, carrot, squash, potato)
1 c. mozzarella cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 450F. Roast vegetables until just beginning to brown, and still firm, about 10 min.

Heat olive oil in a sauté pan; add onions, flour and green chiles. Mix well and sauté on a medium flame for 1 minute. Add milk, mix well and cook for 1 minute. Add chopped spinach, salt and pepper, mix well and simmer until it becomes slightly creamy. Pour spinach mixture over  roasted veggies and spread evenly. Sprinkle mozzarella on top and bake until cheese gets brown and bubbles, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

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