Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lemon Garlic Spinach

This is a quick side-dish that's healthy and tastes great. It really goes with anything but I served it with skirt steak with red wine sauce, which I'll post a bit later. If you have any leftovers, pile it up on some toasted bread and top with a poached or fried egg for a tasty lunch.

Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2

  • 1 large bunch of fresh spinach
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 2 TBSP of grated parmesan or romano cheese*
  1. Wash your bunch of spinach thoroughly. Grit tends to stick to fresh spinach so be sure to run water over it for several minutes or soak it in the sink. Don't worry about drying it off - the extra moisture is good as it cooks.
  2. Remove any thick, unruly stems from the leaves and discard. As you can see, I still left most of the stems on so don't worry about being too precise here.
  3. Roughly chop your spinach into large pieces. I like to wad it up in my fist to make it a little easier to chop.
  4. Crush your garlic clove with the back of your knife. Peel it and chop it finely.
  1. Set a large frying pan over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Then add your olive oil and let it heat for another minute or so.
  2. Add the spinach to the hot oil and use a wooden spoon or spatula to press it down into the pan.
  3. After one minute, use your wooden spoon to flip around the spinach, bringing the cooked leaves on top of the uncooked ones.
  4. Add your diced garlic clove, 1 tsp red pepper flakes and 1 tsp each of salt and pepper. I like to add these after the spinach has cooked a bit to keep the garlic from burning.
  5. Keep flipping the spinach around until all of the leaves are wilted.
  6. Grate the cheese on top of the spinach and squeeze your lemon juice just at the end of cooking.
  7. Turn the heat to low until ready to serve.

* Parmesan or Romano cheese - This is one ingredient that I think is worth a splurge so I buy the large wedges from the specialty cheese section at the store. It usually runs about $10 for a wedge, but it will last in the fridge for several weeks. Plus, you can save the rind (the tough edge of the cheese) and store in the freezer to use in soups. It adds something special to a plain old tomato or vegetable soup.


  1. Not a big cooked spinach girl, but I will definitely try it on toast with a fried egg on top! Yum and what a good way to eat it.

  2. A bit of nutmeg....freshly grated or from a jar.....sprinkled over this before serving gives it a yummy touch! Mom(-:

  3. thanks Mom! I need to get a whole piece of nutmeg to grate like you do :)