Good beautiful day! I hope you're enjoying this lovely holiday weekend. Here, our lilacs are still blooming after two weeks, thanks to chilly weather and misty rains - heaven! Is anything better than a bouquet in every room during lilac season? That chilly weather makes the trasition to humid, summer heat a little easier - I've been enjoying hearty soups and roasted chicken, along with this lovely side, before the quick jump into summer foods.
I adore spinach: I make a quick spinach soup that instantly recharges me, and a quick blanch and toss for my bento box lunches, lovely with olive oil and hot pepper flakes. But I'd always been curious about Julia Child's recipe for braising spinach in butter. It's a bit long winded, but finally I tried it, and it's a winner. The French have a very unique way of cooking vegetables ( see braised celery and cucumbers) that brings out a deep richness unlike any other recipe for these veggies.
I made it with the mature spinach, as the baby spinach simply doesn't have the heft that the larger leaves of the older spinach have - simply my choice. I de-stemmed the spinach, then did a quick blanch, then braised in nutmeg, butter, and salt and pepper, and oh ,my! - it tingles you right down to your toes. Soothing, warming, and smooth, it's a wonderful side with everything from roasts to chicken to fish and seafood. I could see this working beautifully in an omelet or frittata, as well. There are three very quick steps to this recipe - but make sure you do them all.
Epinards Etuves au Beurre:
(eh-peen-ard ay-too-vey )
Makes 2 servings.
1 large bag spinach ( about 10 ozs),destemmed
4 T. unsalted butter
kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 pinches of nutmeg, or several scrapings of whole nutmeg
Wash the spinach very well in a bowl of cold water and drain briefly.
In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil, and drop in the washed spinach. Cook for 5 minutes and drain in a colander, running cold water over the spinach quickly to retain the green color. Squeeze out an excess water.
Melt 2 T. unsalted butter in a skillet or saucepan. When the butter is bubbling, add the spinach, salt and pepper, and two pinches of nutmeg - or about 10 scrapings on a nutmeg grater. Stir until all the moisture in the spinach is gone. Take off heat for a moment
In the same pan, melt 2 T. unsalted butter with the spinach, turn the heat to low, and cook another 10 minutes , stirring often, until the spinach has absorbed the butter and is very, very silky and tender. Taste for seasonings, adding more salt, pepper, or nutmeg as needed.