Sautéed spinach

Bagged spinach or bunch spinach?

Sometimes I do buy the bagged spinach, because it’s so much easier. But bunch spinach is better, really. It’s a little bit cheaper, but mainly it’s better because fewer people handle it, and so it is less likely to have nasty germs than the bagged spinach is. Also, if you get your spinach at the farmer’s market, it’s not going to come in a bag.

Or, you know, grow your own…

How to make sauteed spinach:

Take one bunch of spinach and pull off the leaves. Compost the stems or save them to chop into slaw, or put in soup.

In a medium-size frying pan, heat 1/8 cup of olive oil over medium-high heat. Dump in the spinach leaves. If there’s too much to fit all at once, put in half and wait for it to wilt a little, then add the other half when there’s room.

Use salad tongs to lift and toss the spinach in the frying pan so the top leaves cook and the bottom leaves don’t burn. When the leaves are pretty wilted, in about two minutes, take the pan off the heat. Add the juice of half a lemon, maybe a handful of chopped tarragon, and it’s done.

We eat sauteed spinach as a side very often in the winter; it’s especially good with black-eyed peas and rice, or lentil stew, or turnips gratin.

Vegetarian or vegan

Sauteed spinach is completely vegan, no worries! It’s also vegan if you eat it raw, just the leaves in a bowl as a salad with a little vinegar.

Can I keep sauteed spinach for later?

It’s really not good left over on its own. You can add it to something else like chicken soup or chickpeas in tomato sauce.

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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