SPINACH in three steps with TARRAGON
We like to cook spinach in three stages, starting with 1/3 of the total amount cooked all the way, second 1/3 folded in and heated through, and the last 1/3 is placed on top, turn heat off and let it just wilt. Spinach is a wonderful vegetable but does have one annoying trait: it leaves a chalky feeling on our teeth. This is somewhat mitigated by the 3 stage cook method, because, we think uncooked and under cooked spinach produces less of the chalky tooth feeling than fully cooked spinach. See what you think!
1 Tablespoons shallots, minced
- 1 Tablespoons garlic, minced
- 4 bunches fresh spinach, cleaned(*), chopped
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter
- 2-4 tablespoons reduced heavy cream
- To taste, sea salt, ground pepper, ground coriander
- Splash of Pernod, optional
- 2 Tablespoon Panko bread crumbs, optional
- 2 teaspoon tarragon, chopped
Heat EVOO in sauté pan; add shallots and garlic; sauté until aromatic and slightly translucent. Add 1/3 of the spinach and cook until it’s tender. Fold in second 1/3 and continue cooking 2-3 minutes. Add butter and cream and season with spices. Add Pernod if using and cook for 10 more seconds; adjust consistency with breadcrumbs if using and needed, and finish with tarragon. Remove from heat and add last 1/3 of spinach, allowing it to wilt from the heat of the cooked mixture. Serve warm.
To clean spinach that is fairly clean and not sandy, put it in basket of a salad spinner, a 1/3 at a time. Run under gentle stream of cold water, turning while dirt runs off. Shake gently and spin in the salad spinner. Place into clean bowl till all spinach is prepared. Layer clean batches with paper towel after spinning. Hold briefly in refrigerator if not using immediately. Spinach done this way is ready for cooking and/or fresh salad. In most recipes, no extra water is needed to cook it because of its own water content.
For very sandy spinach, place into a bowl of cold water and swish. Lift out and change water; put back into cold water and swish; lift out and continue until no sand remains in water. Remember, key to success is lifting out the spinach rather than pour out with water which will just coat the spinach with sand again.