Cooktop Cove: How to make Greek mac and cheese casserole
By Laura Martin
To my boyfriend, very few meat-free dishes count as a meal. Mac and cheese is one of them, which means it makes frequent appearances on our dinner rotation. It’s delicious, but a bit boring, so lately I’ve been playing around with variations like this Greek adaptation. It has all the melty, creamy, comforting goodness of classic mac and cheese balanced with briny bits of feta, fresh herbs and veggies. It’s tangy, tasty, and craving inducing.
The secret to keeping this dish tasting bright is to make sure that the ingredients remain distinct. Dusting the herbs and olives on the surface instead of stirring them in allows the flavors to meld slightly without becoming homogenous.
Greek Mac and Cheese Casserole
20 minutes
30 minutes
50 minutes
1 1/4 teaspoons (6 ml) olive oil
16 oz. (450 g) elbow noodles
4 tablespoons (56 g) butter
1/4. cup (35 g) flour
1 teaspoon (7 g) salt
1/2 teaspoon (1 g) white pepper
3 cups (720 ml) milk
1/8 teaspoon (.5 g) nutmeg
2 cups (200 g) Havarti, shredded
10 oz. (285 g) baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup (1 00 g) feta, crumbled
1 small tomato, diced
3 tablespoons (3 g) flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup (100 g) parmesan
1 teaspoon (.5 g) fresh mint, chopped (optional)
Heat oven to 350°. Rub 1/4 teaspoon olive oil around the inside of a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain and toss with remaining teaspoon of olive oil.
Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat, add flour and whisk until bubbling and golden. Stir in milk, reduce heat and cook until thickened enough to coat a spoon. Remove from heat.
Stir in nutmeg, and Havarti. Add noodles and spinach; stir to combine.
Spread half of noodles in bottom of prepared baking dish. top with half the tomato, feta, and 1 tablespoon parsley. Poor in the remaining noodles and top with the rest of the feta, tomato, and another tablespoon parsley. Top with parmesan.
Bake for 30 minutes, until heated through and browned on top. Mix remaining parsley with mint, if using, and sprinkle on top before serving.
Pro Tip: If you love briny flavors, add 1/2 cup chopped olives or 2 tablespoons capers to the spinach layers.
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