Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wilted Spinach

Looks like a lot of spinach, but really only 3 servings once it's cooked

This is the last recipe from my class last week. I hesitate to call it a recipe because it's so simple. The secret is to only wilt the spinach. It will continue to cook after you remove it from the skillet. As spinach is perfectly tasty raw in salads, you barely need to cook it. Which makes it a great vegetable for any night because it's done in a flash.

Spinach cooks down a lot. You will need 4 to 5 oz. per serving, which seems like a ridiculous amount when you see it raw, but it does the magical disappearing act when cooked.

This recipe uses a simple flavoring technique - garlic cooked in oil. Watch the garlic carefully while cooking. You want it toasted brown but not burned. Burned garlic is horribly bitter. If you burn it, you'll need to start over with new oil and garlic. We remove the garlic before tossing in the spinach. You can use the cooked garlic as garnish or discard them. 

The recipe is for 1 serving. It can be doubled, tripled, whatever you need at the time, though if you cook more than a pound of spinach, you are going to need a very large skillet! You can dump leftover cooked spinach in soup, tomato sauce, or stew but I recommend you cook only what you need at that moment. It only takes about 3 minutes. It's wonderful as a bed for our Salmon with a Potato-Scallion Crust.

Wilted Spinach
(serves 1, costs 75¢ )

1 teaspoon vegetable or olive oil
1 small clove of garlic, cut in half
4 oz. raw spinach

Heat up a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and garlic. Cook the garlic until a toasty brown all over but be careful not to burn it. It will only take a minute. Remove the garlic (reserve for garnish if you like garlic a lot or discard if you don't). Add in the spinach and toss in oil. Cook for about 1 minute until some of it starts to wilt. Season lightly with salt. Serve immediately.

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