(After a long, long hiatus -- nearly 2 weeks! -- I've finally got a recipe for you. I recently started a new job, which, in contrast to the old one, actually necessitates my doing work. It's been tough to adjust to a full -- often overflowing -- workday and still make time to blog, but I'm coming around. Thanks for continuing to read, and I promise, more great recipes are in the wings!)
Honestly, I don't think I've ever posted such ugly pictures (save some of my early shots, which are pretty embarrassing). My apologies if looking at them makes you lose your appetite. I didn't even bother to put the watermark on that second one -- let's face it; no one's going to claim to have taken that ugly pic.
But the spinach, people, the spinach. It's absolutely delicious, and I insist that after staring for way too long at these ugly pictures, you go bother to make the spinach that's in them. I happened to have spinach in the fridge, and stumbled upon this recipe in The New Best Recipe (aka my New Best Cookbook). It's not my usual tune to make creamed spinach. I'm more drawn to raw salads and quick-sautees with Asian flavors than I am to heavy, Southern-style greens. However, I will certainly be making frequent exception to that rule from now on. TNBR's creamed spinach recipe yielded a perfectly delicate green, sweet from the cream and a pinch of sugar, slightly salty, a bit spicy from the freshly-grated nutmeg, and buttery from a sauteed shallot and, well, butter. I guess it's not hard to see how anything can be made tasty if you add sugar, salt, cream, butter, and shallots. But anyway, this spinach was pretty much a home run. I actually cut the cream in half, and it was still delicious, so if you'd be inclined, do the same.
Assertive Greens with Shallots and Cream makes 2 cups
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 shallots, chopped fine
- 1 recipe Blanched Assertive Greens (below)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1.4 tsp. freshly-grated nutmeg
- salt and pepper
- Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add the shallots and cook, stiring frequently, until golden brown, 3-4 minutes.
- Add the greens and stir to coat them with the butter. Stir in the cream, sugar, thyme, and nutmeg.
- Cover and cook until the greens are heated through, about 2 minutes. If any excess liquid remains, remove the lid and continue to simmer until the cream has thickened slightly, about 1 minute.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 pounds assertive greens, such as kale, mustard greens, collard greens, etc.
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a Dutch oven or a large, deep saute pan. Add the salt and the greens, and stir until wilted. Cover and cook until just tender, 7 minutes. Drain into a colander. Rinse the pan, then refill with cold water, and put the greens into the cold water to stop the cooking. Gather greens by the hand, and squeeze dry.