At the farmers' market this week, hopefully under bright blue skies, look for baby spinach from the Happy Boys Farm in Watsonville. It makes an excellent and very simple side dish I have tried several times. It took several times to learn how to toss the spinach in the skillet without throwing it all over the stove and kitchen counter.
Not only does it taste really good, it's fun to learn how to do this.
- 6 to 8 oz baby spinach (looks like a lot, but cooks down to 2 servings)
- 1/2 shallot, finely minced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Earth Balance butter substitute
Find a non-stick skillet no bigger than 12" in diameter. I used a bigger, heavier one the first time and had to use both hands to attempt to toss the spinach, resulting in faulty technique and lost spinach. Heat the olive oil over high heat.
Add the minced shallots and garlic and stir for maybe 15 seconds. As soon as you can smell the garlic, add the spinach which will try to overflow out of the skillet. Stir the spinach until it starts to cook down to a manageable size. Tilt the edge of the skillet away from you so the spinach slides down. With flourish, toss it gently into the air so it flips over and mixes in the shallots and garlic.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss (or stir) a couple of times. Add the butter and toss again. Serve immediately.