Sautéed spinach with garlic

1 lb. spinach, stemmed, washed, and patted or spun dry
1 Tbsp. olive oil or butter
4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
salt and pepper to taste

Sizzle garlic in the oil or butter until it just begins to brown, about 3 min. If using butter, be careful not to burn it. Stir in about half the spinach, letting it wilt before adding the other half. Cook over high heat until the liquid from the spinach evaporates, about 5 min. Season and serve.

If you would like to serve this dish at room temperature rather than hot, use oil; the butter will congeal if allowed to cool.

Adapted from Vegetables / James Peterson. William Morrow, c1998. ISBN: 9780688146580

Mr. Peterson goes on to give a very similar recipe for chard, with a little more oil and a little less garlic. In fact, this technique will probably work with any greens you care to cook; it’s also nearly identical to the nettle recipe Ray of OlyYoga fame recommends, except he adds a little chopped onion.

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Versión en español: this post is also available in Spanish.
Esperanta traduko: this post is also available in Esperanto, because Dana is a language geek.

Newsletters: 20 Oct., 2010

Excerpt from the Market Newsletter originally published on 20 Oct., 2010. View the full newsletter for all the photos and links.

Cooking, and reading about cooking
Last month Jackie at L&I recommended a recipe from Chez Panisse Vegetables using corn and zucchini that I think must be this one. If you move quickly you still might be able to find all the ingredients.

Summer squash and corn pasta
4-6 small summer squashes, diced
5-6 ears corn, cut from cobs
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
handful cilantro leaves
2 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. water
1 lb. fresh fettuccine, cooked
juice of 1/2 lemon, optional
Saute squash in the oil until tender and a little brown; season with salt and pepper. Add corn, garlic, and jalapeño; continue cooking a few more minutes. Add cilantro (reserving some for garnish if desired), butter, and water; correct seasoning. Add fettuccine and toss. Add lemon juice if corn is very sweet and garnish with cilantro.
From: Chez Panisse vegetables / by Alice Waters and the cooks of Chez Panisse. HarperCollins, c1996.

Warm spinach and squash salad
1.5 lb. delicata squash cut in half, seeded, and sliced, or butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cubed
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 t salt (divided)
black pepper
3 Tbsp. lemon juice or red wine vinegar
8 oz. spinach leaves
1/2 c toasted sliced almonds
Toss squash with 1 Tbsp. oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and pepper to taste, in a 12×17-inch baking dish. Bake at 400F ca. 20 min., until tender. Mix lemon juice with remaining 1/4 tsp. salt; add squash, spinach, and onions. Heat remaining 3 Tbsp. oil, pour over all, and toss to coat, wilting spinach. Serve immediately.
From: Yoga Journal, Nov. 2009.

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Newsletters: 2 June, 2010

Partly for fun and partly to avoid work, I thought it would be interesting to republish the less ephemeral bits of some old newsletters. Besides, why should recycling be limited to stuff? In an attempt to retain some seasonality here, I’ll be posting them at what I calculate to be the opposite time of year as the original post — so if this blog turns out to have any readers in the southern hemisphere (and if there is anyone, please drop me a line to say hi and make my day, I’m at TTCFMweb[“at” sign], they should be just about in the right season for you.

Some of the recipes will have already been posted here once, but they’re on a different context here. Besides, as I already mentioned, I’m avoiding work this winter.

Oh, and please be assured, I will be writing new posts this winter as topics occur to me (or are suggested by readers, hint, hint), so there will be some fresh info showing up as well.

So here we go. Excerpt from the Market Newsletter originally published on 1 June, 2011 (there were earlier ones, but this is the first to include non-market information and recipes). View the full newsletter for all the photos and links.

I got rushed and forgot to put [a recipe] in last week, so I’ll send two this week. They’re from Pleyn delit, a classic book of medieval recipes interpreted for the modern cook. The first is fifteenth century English; no date is given for the second, Middle Eastern one. Enjoy!

Buttered Wortes (buttered greens)
2-3 lbs beet greens, spinach, or other greens, plus some parsley
2-3 leeks
2 Tbsp (or more) butter
4-6 slices bread, diced and lightly toasted
Blanch greens and leeks in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 3-4 minutes, no longer. Drain in a colander; squeeze out excess water with a potato masher or broad spoon, then chop roughly by running a knife through the mass in the colander. Combine with butter and 1/2 cup fresh water in a pan; stir, cover, and leave over very low heat for another five minutes. Salt to taste and serve mixed with the bread cubes.

Isfanakh Mutajjan (fried spinach)
2 lbs fresh spinach, washed and trimmed
2-3 Tbsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp salt
1-2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tsp)
1/4 tsp each ground cumin and coriander
pinch ground cinnamon
Parboil the spinach in a large pot of salted water for 2-4 minutes. Press out excess water and chop the spinach roughly. Stir-fry in the oil until fragrant, adding the spices towards the end; or put in a heavy saucepan or casserole with the oil and spices, stir, and leave to cook over very low heat another 10-15 minutes; or cook, covered, in a low oven 15-20 minutes (or microwave 3-4 minutes if that doesn’t seem too weird).

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Spinach ring

2 cups cooked spinach, sieved
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup bread crumbs
butter ball
chopped parsley

Add to the above two beaten egg whites. Bake in ring form which has been buttered and sprinkled with parsley. Put in pan of boiling water and bake 30 minutes. Serve with poulette sauce of mushrooms or hard boiled eggs.

From: Peach Blossom cook book. Wenatchee Milling Company, [192-?],
available in the Washington State Library‘s Rare Book collection.

Versión en español: this post is also available in Spanish.
Esperanta traduko: this post is also available in Esperanto, because Dana is a language geek.


Native to: Central and Southwest Asia
Local season: fall-spring

Anyone who grew up with Popeye cartoons is probably familiar with spinach’s reputation for being good for you. Anyone who has ever tried to emulate the sailor and eat canned spinach will understand it’s lack of popularity. Farmers’ Market shoppers know fresh spinach is something else entirely, whether raw in a salad or cooked in scrambled eggs.

Spinach needs cool weather to grow well. Once summer hits it all goes to seed and you’ll have to make do with chard.

Although spinach’s reputation is for iron, it’s also high in other minerals — notably calcium, niacin,and zinc — and a bunch of vitamins, including A, C, K, and B6. It’s a bit high in sodium, as vegetables go, but with a glycemic load of 0, no cholesterol, and a load of anti-oxidants, it’s worth cutting your sodium elsewhere if that’s a concern for you.

Read more:
full label-style nutritional description and other details, including pie charts.
interesting spinach facts at

Versión en español: this post is also available in Spanish
Esperanta traduko: this post is also available in Esperanto, because Dana is a language geek.