Monday, September 24, 2007

Spinach Sauteed in Butter and Parmesan

I think the title says it all. No wonder I need a few extra laps. I do "eats me spinach" in healthier ways, just not at the moment. I didn't eat spinach as a child. All I knew of the stuff is that it came frozen, cooked down into a foul-smelling blackish mush that reeked of vinegar. Ick. That was the 70s. I discovered a new love of greens just these last few years of eating local. Something about the freshness, a new approach to preparing them, and the variety. It's sad that a less than ideal first impression of so many vegetables can keep many people from finding out what they really taste like.

In the wake of the latest bagged lettuce recall, fall is bringing a short, but welcome burst of fresh greens before winter bites down hard. Spinach is a rare treat this second season, so I bought two bunches to celebrate. The inspiration for this dish comes from a little Italian restaurant tucked away into a market storefront. The owner's mother is from Naples, and the recipes prepared including the light, crisp Neopolitan pizzas are hers.

Pizza is a mandatory stop once a week when we go to pick up our CSA bag. Our kiddo looks forward to it each week. So do I. The menu stays true to its roots; simple, great ingredients prepared with care.

Spinach Sauteed in Butter and Parmesan
2 bunches fresh spinach, washed, stems trimmed, dried
1 clove garlic sliced thin
2 tbs. butter
1 oz. grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the butter in a skillet. Cook garlic until lightly brown. Add spinach and toss with tongs, until it just wilts, but is still bright green. Remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle in all but a tablespoon of the Parmesan. Toss to mix. Serve with remaining grated cheese sprinkled on top.

The other dish in the photo is just fresh tomatoes, garlic and a bit of crushed pepper sauteed in olive oil and served with grated Parmesan and fresh basil over pasta. Easy, quick and a perfect late summer meal.


Kalyn said...

I love spinach cooked this way!

Rachel said...

looks yummy. I'm not sure if I ever asked, but do you have room in your backyard for growing and (more importantly) time to put some things down? In winter, you can grow all sorts of greens, like chard, kale, etc. I just ordered some rainbow chard seeds (they're gorgeous - mixed red, orange, yello and pink spines on them) and I'll be planting them in autumn/winter. Like keeping a pot of lettuce, but for winter...

The Expatriate Chef said...

Maybe if we had a green house. The weather here is 110 heat index in the peak of summer, and down to twenty-below wind chill in the winter. How the farmers manage amazes me. Too bitter cold for greens after October, but we do get a fall planting that brings the spinach I used here and some lettuces in a week or so.

Rachel said...

yes - sorry. I do tend to forget the climate I grew up with now that I'm here in Australia. We get ground frost in winter, but that's about it; the coldest it gets is the 40s.

Anonymous said...

It is better if you use olive oil in place of the butter.

Also sometimes a dash of nutmeg as well.