A Spinach Dish to Knock off Popeye's Socks

(Image courtesy of http://www.bloggersblog.com/pics/popeyespinach.gif ) Alright, I'll admit it. When it comes to eating spinach, I ...

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Alright, I'll admit it. When it comes to eating spinach, I usually eat it plain. No seasoning, nothing. Just frozen spinach defrosted in the microwave as is. Hey, there's nothing wrong with the taste of it. But I've learned to add a few ingredients that are just as healthy as they are scrumptious. And they make a world of a difference.

The other day around dinnertime, when I was running low on groceries, I came up with a great spinach recipe using items that sat idly in the fridge and on the Lazy Susan. It's probably different from anything you've tried. Let's get to it!

Okay, here's
what you'll need:

1 bag frozen spinach, thawed

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/4 c grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

6-7 fresh sage leaves

1/4 c shelled pistachios

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper (I even like a few red pepper flakes, but that's entirely up to you)

a long, semi-deep skillet

What to do:

Pour the olive oil into your skillet.

Set your burner to high heat and add the garlic when the oil starts to heat up (give it a minute or so).

When garlic starts to soften, lower the heat to medium. Since it may begin to burn and give the oil a bitter taste, remove it and set it in a spoon rest. You can add it back in the end.

Sprinkle the cheese over the oil and wait for it to crisp up (this will only take a few seconds).

Lower the heat to medium low. When the cheese turns a slightly toasted orange color, scrape it off the bottom and mix it around with a wooden spoon. Add a bit more olive oil, then add the sage leaves. Wait until they crisp up, then remove them and place them to the side to save for later.

Add the thawed frozen spinach, cooked garlic, pistachios, and nutmeg into the mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You probably won't need a lot of salt; the cheese adds a good amount of sodium.

If you had some wild mushrooms on hand, you could even add a few of those, too (and no, I'm not talking about the ones in your back yard).

Never tried nutmeg with spinach?
Trust me. The sweetness and muskiness of the nutmeg balances out the slightly acidic taste of the spinach. It's a popular combo.

Why Pistachios?
Well, frankly, I'd bought them a month ago and had forgotten about them for a while. They were staring at me from the cupboard, so I decided to use them. They worked so well.

You can spread this nutty, light spinach mixture over whole grain crackers, or toss in some whole wheat pasta and grilled chicken for dinner. Or...chill it in the fridge and drizzle some balsamic vinegar later on for a great salad.

There's so much you can do to get your much needed serving of spinach! Be creative. Make Popeye proud.

;) Holly

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