Photo by Josh Shaub
OOOH, I loved my grandmother’s creamed spinach growing up, but it’s way too rich for me now. That doesn’t stop me from making it, though; I just had to slow its roll by coming up with a lighter incarnation. (I’m guessing you’d like to know her version, so here it is: fry bacon until crispy, remove and crumble. Sauté the spinach in the bacon grease and add shallots, spices, cream, asparagus, and top with Parmesan.) I flipped it by using peanut oil and roasting the asparagus, so no bacon is needed. Both recipes are tasty, they’re just different. Either way you want to get down is all good with us. - DFC
PREP AND COOKING TIME: 45 minutes
1 lb. asparagus, white ends removed
1 tbsp. peanut oil or canola oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 lbs. fresh spinach, tough stems removed
2 to 3 tbsps. unsalted butter (or 3 slices bacon)
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 red bell or yellow pepper diced
10 diced cherry tomatoes
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 cup heavy cream or thick coconut milk
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. toasted curry powder
½ lb. fresh baby mozzarella, halved (optional)
Shaved Parmesan, for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. In a medium bowl, lightly coat the asparagus with olive or peanut oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer the asparagus to a baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until browned. Cool, then chop asparagus into bite-size pieces.
3. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Drain through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing spinach with a large spoon to release as much water as possible. Finely chop drained spinach and set aside.
4. In a 10-inch sauté pan set on medium-high melt the butter or oil (Or fry the bacon if using for fat. Crumble bacon and reserve.). Add the shallots, garlic, bell pepper and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
5. Add the spinach and asparagus, and cook, stirring frequently, just until the liquid is evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the cream, nutmeg, and curry powder. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until cream is reduced by half. If using the mozzarella, toss it in now and cook for 1 minute, stirring to combine.
Remove from the heat and serve it up with shaved Parmesan and the crumbled bacon, if you like.
RIDE OR FRY
by Dante Fried Chicken