I love spinach but lots of people turn up their nose in disgust when they see it on their plate: my daughter for example. She is fine when it is in a brothy soup or disguised in a pie, but a big pile of slightly wilted spinach on the side of her plate can send her into a squirmy fit. You would swear I was trying to punish or poison her!
Over the years I have seen lots of recipes with “creamed spinach”, and it always appears on American diner menus as one of the sides. I did not grow up eating it and so never found it appealing. I had a huge bunch of spinach that needed to be cooked the other night, and the only way to get rid of it in a hurry was to cook it down. When it was cooked I felt it needed something so I cooked an onion and added cream. I must have been thinking of creamed spinach because this is what it turned out to be.
And it was delicious: my daughter’s words, not mine. Get the picture: even the worst of skeptics succumb to a bowl of creamy greeny spinach!
You will need:
1 1/2 to 2 lbs fresh spinach, washed and left wet
1 medium sweet onion, small dice
1 1/2 tbs unsalted butter
1 tsp sea-salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp chili flakes (optional)
1/2 lemon, cut into wedges (optional)
1 – Put large saute pan on medium heat and add the wet spinach. Cover with lid and cook until spinach is soft and wilted, stirring occasionally. You may need to do this in two batches (if your pan is small). Transfer to a big colander and let it cool. When it has cooled, squeeze as much of the moisture out as possible. Do this by squeezing with your hands and pressing the spinach into the sides of the colander with a big spoon. Remove from colander and chop. Set aside.
2 – While spinach is cooling, melt butter under medium heat in same pan used to cook spinach. When it has melted, add the onions and cook until soft (about 6 or 7 minutes).
3 – Add the salt, pepper, pepper flakes (if using), and cream and stir. When cream is hot, turn pan down and let it simmer for about 2 minutes.
4 – Add the spinach and mix everything together. When it has completely warmed through it is ready to serve.
I like to garnish each serving with a thin wedge of lemon. A little lemon juice squeezed over the spinach gives it a fresh zing.