Nigel (we are now on first name terms) recently inspired me to try a dish I hated as a child: creamed spinach. At school dinners, creamed spinach was cold, slimy, and tasteless. But with a huge bag of really fresh, local, spinach arriving in my veg box, I decided it might be time to try this easy side dish.
Isn't it amazing how spinach shinks when cooked? I started with a massive amount. I decided to use the whole bag--good thing, too. Although it filled my biggest pot, it cooked down to just a fraction of this.
And then you blend up (or finely chop) the cooked spinach, and squeeze out a bit of the excess moisture. And look at how much was left! This is the full amount of creamed spinach at the end of the process. Ant and I had no problem eating it all with our dinner. The spinach didn't taste at all bland, and the slight creaminess and the nutmeg warmth balanced the earthy spinach. Now that I have created some good memories of creamed spinach, I can imagine eating it, and loving it, regularly.
Contemporary Creamed Spinach
serves 3 as a side dish
adapted from Tender: v. 1: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch
750 g spinach
25 g (2 T) butter
3 T creme fraiche of sour cream
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper
Roughly chop the spinach. Wash it and put in it a large pot, with the water still clinging to the leaves.
Heat over medium high heat with the lid on for three or four minutes, until thoroughly wilted.
Squeeze out the excess water and blend (or chop) very briefly. Add the creme fraiche, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Serve immediately, since the spinach cools very quickly.