This fabulous peasant dish from Provence raises steamed spinach to an altogether higher plane: tossed with a simple garlic, pine nut, and butter pesto, this is a delectable way to get your immune-enhancing spinach along with healthful Omega-3 oils!
2 pounds spinach, washed well and trimmed of heavy stems
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened (use organic if possible)
Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons crème fraiche or heavy cream
Pinch of freshly-grated nutmeg
1. Place the spinach in a large pot with only the water adhering to it from its last rinsing. Turn the heat to high and wilt, 3 to 4 minutes. Plunge the spinach into cold water to stop from cooking. Drain it well in a strainer, pushing out excess water with the back of a wooden spoon.
2. Pound the pine nuts and garlic together in a mortar until they resemble a smooth paste (or use a food processor). Whisk them with into the softened butter with the lemon juice, Season with pepper.
3. Melt 1 tablespoon of the flavored butter in a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat and toss the spinach in it until it is well coated and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the crème fraiche and nutmeg and cook for 2 minutes, stirring and tossing to mix well. Add the remaining flavored butter and stir to coat all the spinach, cooking for another 2 minutes. Serve hot.
Adapted from Mediterranean Vegetables, by Clifford A. Wright (Harvard Common Press, 2001). Copyright (c) 2001 by Clifford A. Wright. Reprinted by permission of Harvard Common Press.
Adapted from Mediterranean Vegetables, by Clifford A. Wright (Harvard Common Press, 2001).