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Quickly Spicing Up Steamed Spinach

Spinach Pre-washed baby spinach makes for one of my favorite side dishes. It requires next to no work to prepare, but I have discovered that a little bit of effort goes a long way. My friend Emily Nunn recently remarked upon the easy and rewarding aspects of cooking on her tasty blog, Cook the Wolf:

One thing I wish more people knew, especially people who have lived their lives on fast/takeout/restaurant food: cooking doesn't always have to mean making a giant involved recipe. Many people are unaware of the incredible amount of culinary satisfaction that can come with very little effort. Putting out freshly boiled corn, sliced tomatoes, and cucumbers in oil and vinegar is cooking. I consider a really good ham sandwich cooking (put pickles on it!).

The rest of her post, about a breakfast dish called a Bird in a Nest (something, I confess, I’ve never heard of) is here.

My experiment with the steamed spinach was laughably easy. I add sliced garlic. And a bit of crushed red pepper. That’s nothing in the faintest way original. I made it this way on Wednesday, to go with my Bolognese and pasta, and I tried it again last night with my standard meal of black beans, chicken, and rice.

My new method didn’t add much to the pasta night, but it somewhat revolutionized my little Mexican meal, which I usually eat with salsa. But we were out of the sauce, so I threw in a couple of extra shakes of crushed red pepper when making the spinach. Bringing the heat made a real difference. I didn’t miss the salsa at all.

Quick Spiced Steamed Spinach

  • half a bag (or as much as you would like) of pre-washed baby spinach
  • three or four cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half lengthwise, then sliced
  • olive oil
  • crushed red pepper, to taste

        Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan.
        Add the garlic and the pepper.
        Cook until the garlic is soft, about two or three minutes.
        Add the spinach, and a bit of water.
        Stir until the spinach wilts.

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