This is a wonderful recipe to have in your wheelhouse. It’s fast and easy to prepare. This recipe will make more than you’ll need for even four people. Why make so much? It’s delicious, reheats well, and lends itself to new dishes, such as Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Cheese. I frequently make larger amounts of certain foods so I will have leftovers. This recipe is the perfect example. Another bonus is that you can cook the spinach in advance and then re-use the same skillet to cook your entree. Try it with Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Prosciutto, Gruyere and Sage. If you’re not sure you’ll like room temperature vegetables, think about how the Italians serve antipasti at room temperature.
I happen to like foods that have a bit of a kick to them, so I use dried hot pepper flakes in this recipe. Boy, it really adds a great dimension to the spinach and to the scrambled eggs I mentioned above. If you have an aversion to anything with a hint of spiciness, just eliminate the hot pepper flakes.
This recipe calls for a mix of olive oil and butter. Most recipes that you’ll see for sautéed spinach call for only oil. I happen to like the flavor that butter imparts, so I use a blend of butter and oil. Since butter has a lower burning point level than oil, using both of them allows me to cook the garlic and hot pepper flakes without burning them. As much as I love garlic, I don’t keep the garlic in this recipe, which is why I smash it for easier removal. The garlic doesn’t have time to fully cook before you add the spinach, and uncooked raw garlic is sharp and too strong.
Saute of Baby Spinach with Garlic
Serves 4 with leftovers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed – put the peeled garlic cloves on a cutting board, place a chef’s knife on top of the cloves, and hit the knife firmly to smash the cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon dried hot pepper flakes, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 14-16 ounce container of pre-washed baby spinach leaves
- Put the olive oil and butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium low heat. When the butter melts and begins to bubble, add the garlic cloves, dried red peppers, and salt. The olive oil and butter’s fat helps disperse the heat of the dried pepper flakes.
- Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until the garlic cloves are golden brown. Don’t let the garlic burn.
- Remove the garlic cloves and discard.
- Add half the spinach to the skillet and remove the skillet from the heat. Immediately start mixing the spinach from the bottom of the pan — where the heat is –to the top. You won’t believe how quickly spinach can wilt!
- As soon as the volume in your pan lowers, quickly add the remaining half of the spinach and repeat the process of mixing it from the bottom of the pan to the top. You’ll end up with some wilted and some relatively fresh.
- Pour into a serving bowl and enjoy.
Grocery Bag: Saute of Baby Spinach & Garlic