Creamed Spinach

I never ate cooked greens when I was growing up.  My mother didn’t like them, so I never got exposed to them.  Until I was a vegetarian, visiting a boyfriend who was attending law school at NYU.  I dated him for two years of his law school career, and visited every chance I got.  He made it a point to take me to each of the 4-star restaurants that were then housed in New York, and I presented my vegetarian requirements at each. I found a new love for sautéed mushrooms, creamed spinach, and even some forms of polenta during this time, and will always be glad that 4-star chefs are willing to create a meal for picky 20-somethings!

Anyway, I was looking at the bag of mixed greens that came in this week’s share and thought, I wonder what it would be like to make creamed spinach-and-mustard-greens-and-whatever-else-might-be-in-there?  So I thought we’d give it a try tonight, based roughly on this recipe at Epicurious.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb baby spinach and other braising greens
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • dash freshly grated nutmeg

 Preparation:

  1. Cook spinach/greens in 2 batches in 1 inch of boiling salted water in a large soup pot, stirring constantly, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water until cool. Squeeze small handfuls of spinach greens to remove as much moisture as possible, then coarsely chop.
  2. Heat milk and cream in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until warm. Meanwhile, cook onion in butter in a 2½-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes. Add warm milk mixture in a fast stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, and simmer, whisking, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in nutmeg, spinach greens, and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until heated through.

Notes:

Cook’s note: Creamed spinach can be made 1 day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Reheat over moderately low heat until hot.

The Verdict:

Creamed greens are delicious.  My father commented that he probably would have put about 3 cloves of garlic in them, and my friend let him know that there were like 6 cloves in there.  I didn’t adjust my measurements quite accurately, so the cream mixture was pretty thick, but I love it that way, so I wasn’t worried, and it got good reviews from all my tasters. 

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