Spinach

Spinach can be eaten raw or cooked and added to salads, casseroles and soups to increase nutrient content.  It is an excellent source of fiber, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin A and a good source of magnesium and iron.

Recipe List:
Spinach Frico
Spinach Garlic Soup
Rice and Spinach Gratin
Super Slow-Cooked Spinach with Rice and Carrots
Spinach Braised with Soy and Ginger
Steamed Spinach with Parmesan
Wilted Spinach with Skirt Steak
Wilted Spinach with Bacon
Braised Spinach with Eggs
Spinach Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette
Chicken Florentine


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Spinach Frico

Submitted by Eliza Bodkin from The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups spinach leaves, chopped
Black pepper
2 cups grated Parmesan or Manchego cheese

Directions:
1. Put the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the spinach and cook, stirring, until the leaves have wilted and all of their liquid has evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with a good amount of black pepper and the Parmesan and stir.

2. Use a rubber spatula to distribute the spinach and cheese evenly over the bottom of the pan. Cook until the cheese is melted and golden brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes.

3. Use the spatula to slide the crisp onto a plate; put another plate on top of the crisp. Put one hand firmly in the center of the bottom plate and the other hand the same way on the top plate; flip the crisp over. Use the spatula to slide it back into the pan and continue cooking until the cheese is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve whole as an appetizer or broken into smaller pieces as a garnish.

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Spinach Garlic Soup

Submitted by apprentice Cheryl Kastanowski

Ingredients:
10 ounces fresh spinach, trimmed and coarsely chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:
In a 5-qt. Dutch oven, bring spinach, broth and carrots to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool to lukewarm.

Meanwhile, in skillet, saute onion and garlic in butter until onion is soft, about 5-10 minutes. Add flour; cook and stir over low heat for 3-5 minutes. Add to spinach mixture. Puree in small batches in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Place in a large saucepan. Add cream, milk, pepper and nutmeg; heat through but do not boil.

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Rice and Spinach Gratin

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Ingredients:
Béchamel for Rice Gratin (separate recipe below)
2 bunches spinach leaves
2 Tbsp olive oil or butter
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions, including an inch or two of the greens
2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp each chopped parsley, dill and marjoram
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup white or brown rice, cooked
1 cup ricotta cheese, optional

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400ºF and lightly butter or oil a baking dish.  Make the béchamel sauce (directions, below).  Cook the spinach in a wide skillet in the water clinging to its leaves until limp, just a few minutes.  Rinse it quickly, then squeeze out the water and finely chop.  In a wide skillet, cook the spinach in the oil with the scallions, garlic, and parsley mixture for about 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Combine the rice with the spinach, sauce, and ricotta, if using.  Turn into the dish and bake until puffed and lightly browned, about 25 minutes.

Béchamel Sauce

Ingredients:
1/4 cup minced shallot or onion
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk, scalded
Salt and freshly milled white pepper
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

Directions:
Cook the shallot in the butter in a small saucepan over low heat for 3 minutes.  Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes more.  Whisk in the hot milk all at once, then cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, or for 30 minutes in the top of a double boiler.  Season with 1/2 t salt, a little pepper, and the nutmeg

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Super Slow-cooked Spinach with Rice and Carrots

Ingredients:
1/2 lb carrots
6 cups water
1/2 cup rice
1 bunch spinach
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp butter

Directions:
Put 1/2 pound carrots and 6 cups water in a pan on high heat. Bring to a boil, then add 1/2 cup rice. When it returns to a boil, add spinach and simmer. Cook, stirring, until carrots are tender, 1/2 hour. Add 3 cloves minced garlic and 2 tablespoons butter.

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Spinach Braised with Soy and Ginger

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ginger, grated
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 bunch spinach

Directions:
Skip the butter. Put 2 tablespoons sesame oil in a large saucepan, along with 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Add spinach and braise until completely wilted and soft, about 10 minutes.

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Steamed Spinach with Parmesan

Ingredients:
1 bunch spinach
2-4 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shaved

Directions:
Put washed and still wet spinach in a covered pot over medium-high heat. Put 2-4 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; stir occasionally until foam subsides and butter turns nut brown. When spinach is tender, after 3-5 minutes, drain, drizzle with butter and add 1/2 cup each toasted bread crumbs and shaved Parmesan; toss to combine.

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Wilted Spinach with Skirt Steak

Ingredients:
8 oz. skirt steak
2 Tbsp butter
1 bunch spinach, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)

Directions:
Sear 8 ounces skirt steak in a large skillet over high heat, turning once. Remove, let pan cool a bit; then add 2 tablespoons butter and chopped spinach; stir until it wilts, 30 seconds or so. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 2 chopped tomatoes and 1/2 chopped red onion and cook another minute. Toss and top with the sliced steak; 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese makes a nice garnish.

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Wilted Spinach with Bacon

Ingredients:
4 thick slices bacon
Olive oil
1 bunch spinach
1 sprig tarragon
1/2 lb mushrooms

Directions:
Render 4 thick bacon slices in olive oil until nearly crisp, then remove. Toss spinach with a sprig of tarragon in the rendered fat to wilt; add 1/2 pound chopped mushrooms; top with bacon.

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Braised Spinach with Eggs

Ingredients:
4 Tbsp butter
1 bunch spinach
4 eggs
Parmesan cheese, shaved

Directions:
Put 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When it melts, add spinach, one handful at a time, stirring, and sauté until it wilts, about 5 minutes. Form 4 nests in the spinach and crack an egg in each. Cover and cook until egg whites are set, about 4 minutes. Garnish with shaved Parmesan.

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Spinach Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette

Ingredients:
Dash crushed red chile flakes
1 clove garlic
1 oil-packed anchovy filet (see note)
Kosher salt, to taste
Rind of 1/4 lemon, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. loosely packed fresh oregano leaves
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 bag large spinach leaves

Directions:
1. Place the chile flakes, garlic, anchovy, and a pinch of salt in a mortar and smash with the pestle until ingredients are finely ground. Add the lemon and oregano and continue smashing until the oregano has broken down into tiny pieces. (Alternatively, put the garlic, anchovy, salt, lemon, and oregano on a cutting board, finely chop with a large knife, and transfer to a bowl; stir in chile flakes.) Add vinegar, whisk in olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and let vinaigrette sit for at least 30 minutes.

2. To serve, put spinach into a large serving bowl. Drizzle vinaigrette over spinach, season with salt and pepper, and toss vigorously with your hands until the spinach is thoroughly coated with the vinaigrette.

Note: To make this recipe vegetarian or vegan, omit the anchovy and replace with ½ ounce black olive tapenade.

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Chicken Florentine

Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis from foodnetwork.com

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground black pepper
all-purpose flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons shallots, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 cup of whipping cream
1 tablespoon of chopped, fresh Italian parsley
2 (10 oz) packages frozen cut-leaf spinach, thawed and drained

Directions:
Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour to coat lightly. Shake off any excess flour. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep it warm.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and saute until the shallots are translucent, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet, about 1 minute. Add the wine. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and boil until the sauce reduces by half, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the sauce, and turn the chicken to coat in the sauce.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in another large skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach and saute until heated through. Season the spinach, to taste, with salt and pepper. Arrange the spinach over a platter. Place the chicken atop the spinach. Pour the sauce over and serve.

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