Friday, January 29, 2010

Creamed Spinach

One of my favorite early spring vegetables is spinach. After a winter with pale, store-bought lettuce, spinach is a nice change with its hearty dark green leaves and mild flavor.

Unless you have a son named Matthew.

He thinks spinach is straight from the pits of hell. And that's no exaggeration! I've tried to "hide" spinach in salads by chopping it up very fine. I've added it to soups and called it "parsley or something like that", and have even added it into the meatloaf to no avail. The little punk is a smart one. He turns up his little nose and announces that, "I don't eat spinach and I don't like Popeye neither!"

So, imagine my surprise when I served up Creamed Spinach with Polenta and the little bugger gobbled it up!

Score one for mom!

So, here's what you'll need: unsalted butter, heavy cream, fresh grated Parmesan cheese, garlic cloves, nutmeg and fresh spinach. This makes enough for 6.

First, wash 1 bunch of spinach leaves. I don't use the packaged stuff if I have to buy it. It's expensive and not as tasty. Put them in a strainer and let them drip a little of the excess water off. Chop the spinach. (No stems). You'll need about 4 cups of chopped, but if it's a little more, it's okay.

In a large skillet, melt 1 cube of unsalted butter.

Add about 3 minced cloves of garlic and saute for a minute or two. Add the spinach leaves and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups heavy cream and 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg and stir well. Turn down heat and simmer for a couple of minutes.

Add 1 cup of fresh, grated Parmesan cheese. (Not the fake stuff in the can!)

Stir until cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper as needed, but make sure you taste first. The cheese has some salt in it, so you may not need as much as you think.

Serve by the spoonful over polenta.

For the polenta, I use the organic, pre-formed tubes and sliced about 1/2" thick. I fry them on a cast iron griddle that I only lightly greased once with bacon grease. Cook on each side about 4 minutes, or until slightly browned.

Then watch it all disappear!

For more recipes, visit Gayle at The Grocery Cart Challenge.

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