How to Make Spinach
Spinach may be one of the first things that come to mind when we speak of the nutritional virtues of dark green leafy vegetables, which are great low-calorie sources of nutrients such as calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C. But it doesn't always top the list of foods people--especially kids--look forward to eating. The trick to making this "super food" a popular dish at your dinner table is knowing how to make spinach delicious and appealing to even the pickiest of eaters.

While recipes abound for sneaking spinach into sauces, casseroles, omelets and salads or even on top of pizza, to nurture a genuine love for this and other leafy greens, you need a recipe that highlights the natural flavors instead of hiding them. Sauteing fresh spinach with garlic and a squeeze of lemon (or vinegar) is a tried-and-true formula that lets the spinach take center stage. The simplicity of the dish makes it approachable to those who may be wary of trying something new, and the hints of lemon and garlic hit just the right high notes.

For a milder taste, use baby spinach--it's harvested earlier and is a bit tenderer, though many people prefer the sturdier texture of mature large-leaved spinach in cooked dishes. You can use both types interchangeably in this recipe--just bear in mind that the yields may vary slightly. If you're using mature spinach, be sure to remove the stems before cooking.

Hey, everyone. I'm Judith. Well today, we'll be making a Simple Sauteed Spinach. Very quick and very nutritious. So, what we'll need is 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 4 cloves of garlic (thinly sliced), 20 ounces of fresh spinach, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper. Alright. So, in a Dutch oven next to us, we've got it to a medium heat and we're just gonna add in our oil to that. Let that get nice and hot. And to the oil, we're gonna now add our sliced garlic. Get all of that in there. Now, we're gonna let that get soft. So, once the garlic is in there, we're gonna let that brown for about 1-2 minutes. So now that our garlic is browned, let's add in our spinach. So, a few handfuls at a time. Make sure it's on medium. Get our spinach in there and we want to let our spinach wilt down. So, it should take about 3-5 minutes. Now, the spinach is gonna reduce a lot of its volume once it in there. So, we're just gonna highly pack our Dutch oven with the spinach. And, we'll get our lid. Put it on and cover it up. In 2-3 minutes, that should wilt down. You can give it a good stir as well just to combine all the flavors together. Our spinach is now wilted down. Yes, it has. I've given it a good few stirs there and that is looking delicious. The smell of the garlic, you cannot go wrong with garlic and spinach-- a great combination. So, we're gonna take that off the heat and now we're gonna add in our lemon juice, our red pepper flakes to give it the extra kick and our salt. Put a little bit more in. Give that a good stir. Get all those flavors in together. And as I said, garlic, lemon and that little kick of red pepper just spices up our spinach and makes it look and smell fantastic. So, that's ready to serve up. We will get it on a plate. Wow! That looks good. Really, really nutritious as well. Simple and tastes amazing. A great side dish. Or is it-- even as a main dish, I sprinkle some nuts on it and it tastes great. Gets to that juice on there to the lemon juice. And there you go. That is smelling fantastic. That is how you make a Simple Sauteed Spinach.
What You'll Need
  • 2   tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4   cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 20   ounces fresh spinach, (see Note)
  • 1   tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon crushed red pepper

Step By Step
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add spinach and toss to coat. Cover and cook until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add lemon juice, salt and crushed red pepper. Toss to coat and serve immediately.
Note: Baby spinach is immature or young spinach--it's harvested earlier than large-leaved mature spinach. We like the sturdy texture of mature spinach in cooked dishes and serve tender, mild-flavored baby spinach raw or lightly wilted. Baby and mature spinach can be used interchangeably in these recipes (yields may vary slightly); be sure to remove the tough stems from mature spinach before using.
Weights & Measures:
10 ounces trimmed mature spinach=about 10 cups raw
10 ounces baby spinach=about 8 cups raw

This simple sauteed spinach makes a great side dish to beef, pork, chicken or almost any entree. And since it takes just minutes to make, it's an easy-to-prepare dish for any time you're looking for ideas for how to make spinach part of your menu. For different hints of flavor, experiment with different vinegars in place of the lemon juice or other seasonings to suit your preference.
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