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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.