Butter and cream. They make anything taste better. Creamed spinach, cooked with butter and cream, is one of the most delicious vegetable dishes I have ever eaten. By itself, spinach may be rather plain and unappetizing to some. A pity, really, because spinach is so rich in nutrients.
Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled. It is a rich source of vitamin A (and especially high in lutein), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids.
Just how much of those nutrients are lost by squeezing off excess water, I have no idea. But unless excess water is squeezed out, spinach has a tendency to make any dish soupy. To minimize nutrient loss, therefore, it is best to blanch the spinach no longer than 30 seconds. And that was what I did in preparing my creamed spinach.
But isn’t that kind of ironic? Taking pains to minimize nutrient loss then adding butter and cream to spinach? Heck, who says it’s wrong to have the best of both worlds? Benefit from the nutrients; enjoy the richness and flavors.
Start by the spinach leaves; discard the stalks.There are different varieties of spinach. Some have tough stalks; others have tender edible stalks. If using a variety with tender stalks, skip the part about picking the leaves.
Then, blanch and squeeze out the excess water (see detailed procedure).
Chop the spinach. Roughly or finely, that’s us to you.
Next, gently brown chopped onion in butter.
Add the spinach to the onion.
And pour in the cream. Season with salt and pepper and voila!
Creamed spinach can be used as the vegetable component of a meat sandwich. It can also be served as a side dish. But my favorite way of serving creamed spinach is by turning it into a bed on which lay down roasted duck breast.
- Blanch the spinach for 30 seconds. Drain, rinse and squeeze as hard as you can, in batches if necessary, to remove all the water.
- Chop the spinach.
- Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the chopped onion. Cook the onion over medium heat until the edges are lightly browned.
- Add the spinach to the browned onion.
- Pour in the cream. Season with salt and pepper. Cook just until everything is heated through.