Spinach – The Other Leafy, Green Treat

August 18th, 2014 § 0 comments

Kale seems to be the trendy, green, leafy vegetable of the moment but HG still prefers spinach. HG did not always love spinach. As a little fellow, HG expressed negative opinions regarding spinach. A believer in the nutritional value of the leafy, green wonder food, HG’s cunning Mom would enclose spinach in a mound of buttery, creamy mashed potatoes. She called the dish “buried treasure.” The romantic name — evoking pirates, the Spanish Main and wealth beyond imagination — convinced HG the vegetable was good stuff. These days HG associates spinach with many splendid restaurant dishes. Creamed spinach of sublime quality would accompany a thick cut of savory boiled tongue (plus a boiled potato and fiery English mustard) at Al Cooper’s Restaurant (long closed) in New York’s Garment Center. Creamed spinach was very good at Ben Benson’s Steak House (also closed) in midtown New York. Palm Restaurant (branches all over the country) serves whole leaf spinach sauteed in high-quality Italian olive oil and plenty of garlic with its steaks and hash browns. The Compound, in Santa Fe, flanks its Chicken Schnitzel in parsley caper sauce with some leaves of sautéed spinach. When HG lived in Colorado he lunched daily at 240 Union, the very good restaurant in Lakewood. The chef at the time, Matthew Franklin, would nest broiled or sautéed fish on a mound of spinach. There was always a plentiful amount of mashed potatoes. What made the dish sing was the abundance of melted butter. Cooking at home, HG likes to place a grilled paillard of chicken breast on some spinach cooked with oil, garlic and a tiny bit of nutmeg. A spinach risotto is a comforting dish as is a rice pilaf mixed with spinach. A very simple dish is some good tortelloni or ravioli plus spinach in steaming chicken broth. Popeye was right. Spinach makes muscle. Take that, Bluto!! Wham ! Bam ! Kazam !

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