With my new-found love of the farmer’s market, I am in the process of learning how to cook various vegetables. Among these veggies was spinach. A lady at the market was selling her spinach and arugula for 1 dollar a bundle. Silly me thought it was baby spinach because I am so used the bags of it in the grocery store. When I got home, I had no idea how to prepare it. Thankfully we have access to a wonderful resource called the Internet! And I found a recipe that I like!!! Its amazing!!! (There is a back story.) I have been reading a book speaking to the simple preparation of quality, in-season food. The Farmer’s market has inspired me as well, though I am a little sad that around here the spinach-es and arugula are disappearing to more hardy fruit. (zucchini, squash, yay ratatouille!!!) So hopefully, in the near future, you will be seeing my progress through new vegetables and preparations.
Spinach and I have a history. My poor father LOVES spinach. Any way shape or form. And my mother, graciously, served him his small bowl of spinach and left the rest of us family out of the spinach loop. Then one day around his birthday, she told all of us children that Dad wanted spinach for his birthday dinner. She warned us with all intensity that we were to all (four of us) eat three bites and not make any faces at all or the punishment would be brutal. And when she says that she is not someone you want to cross. So the big day came, and we all sat at the dinner table slowly eating our food, each one of us watching the others take small bites of their spinach. During this time, our father enjoyed his spinach and watched us, with delight, eat our spinach without making any faces. Then he spoke up and said, “Honey, the kids don’t really mind the spinach so much, maybe we could have it more often.” In unison, all of us groaned and with pent-up disgust, made our faces. All my mom could do was laugh. After she told my father of her mandate for his dinner, he laughed too. We chuckled softly as well; however, in the back of our minds, we all wondered if spinach would be more on the menu.
Well Dad, I am more accustom to your spinach but only prepared certain ways.
I like spinach salads. I also love chicken stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, and cream cheese!!! This preparation is also a top way! In fact the “High Heeled Hippy” did not have any this past week at the market, so I bought some more at the grocery store! 😉
Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts
Adapted from Mireille Guiliano (http://mireilleguiliano.com/)
2 pounds spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons (or hand full) of raisins (she suggests golden, I use dark)
¼ cup pine nuts (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Wash and trim the spinach. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pine nuts, if using, and raisins. Saute until the pine nuts are golden and the raisins are plump, about 1-2 minutes. Add the spinach to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Uncover and toss occasionally for about another minute.