I never understood the aversion to spinach that so many people have. Spinach has always been one of my favorite vegetables- perhaps my very favorite leafy green ever– and I’ve only ever looked upon a large bag of fresh spinach with much anticipation of deliciousness to come. I love how affordable and versatile it is as well: chop some up and throw it in a frittata, add it to your stir-fries, bake it in a souffle, sprinkle with lemon juice and seasoning for a salad- there’s so much to do with spinach.
But this, this simplest of ways to prepare the leafy green, is in my humble opinion the perfect way to enjoy spinach:
5 cups fresh spinach
4 cloves fresh garlic, sliced thinly*
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Prepare your spinach by removing any thick, hard stems. Discard these, or hand them to your family dogs in exchange for many puppy kisses. In a large saucepan, heat around 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Saute the garlic in this lightly, until just very lightly browned. Add the spinach, tossing it to make sure it’s properly coated with olive oil and garlic. Cover. Lower heat, and let this cook for around four to five minutes… after which time, you’ll wonder where all the spinach went. It’s wilted, and that’s fine- that’s what you want. Season with salt and pepper, and maybe a little more olive oil.
And that’s it. When I’m feeling veggie, I’ll have this for dinner with a nice hunk of bread, or maybe over some plain pasta with olive oil- but it’s great as a side dish to any meaty entree as well.
* Ever since I saw Mario Batali prepare his garlic by slicing it thinly, this has been my favorite way to cook with garlic. It cooks more evenly, and looks better than regularly-bruised garlic.