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Special Diet Information

Coumadin® (Warfarin)
This recipe is NOT safe for Coumadin (warfarin) users.

Lactose
This recipe is safe for those who are lactose intolerant.

Sodium
This is NOT a low sodium recipe.

GERD / Acid Reflux
This recipe contains GERD triggers and those with GERD may wish to avoid it.

Gluten Sensitivity
This recipe is safe for those who are sensitive to gluten.

 

"I don't like spinach, and I'm glad I don't, because if I liked it I'd eat it, and I just hate it."
-Clarence Darrow, Attorney

The refrigerator light goes on...

You do have to like Mr. Darrow for his abilities as a lawyer, and his quote above is so lawyerly. You have to read it a few times to even understand what he means. That said, I do love spinach and this recipe was inspired by a recent trip I took where I ate at a lovely Mediterranean restaurant that served this simple dish.

Olive Oil - Choices

There are whole books written on how to choose olive oil. The Italian Culinary Institute has a course on tasting olive oils that is modeled on wine tasting. You can even join an Olive Oil of the Month club.

Oil is pressed in most temperate countries, but those around the Mediterranean Sea dominate with over 90% of production. There is great variety in olive oils based primarily on the climate where the olives are grown. Much of the oil imported to the U.S. comes from Italy, so I will use it as an example of how the differences in climate can affect the pressed oil.

Tuscan olive oils have been the gold standard for Italian olive oils. Because of the cooler northern climates, olives are picked before they are ripe, giving them a younger, herbaceous flavor. It is, however, the slight pepper undertone that is most characteristic of these oils.

In the south of Italy, the longer season offers an olive that can be fully ripened and is less bright and green in flavor. Traditionally, the growers in the south sold olives that were overripe and were made into lesser quality olive oils.

Sicily produces excellent quality olive oils. Many of these are grown, pressed and bottled in Tuscan style, but the southern oils are generally softer in their flavor with mellow buttery characteristics.

The Greeks have almost 20% of Mediterranean olive oil production. Spain is the largest producer of oil at almost 30% of total world production.

 


 

Spinach and Garlic



Servings = 2 | Serving size =about 1 cup

Cooking Time = 30 Minutes

This recipe can be multiplied by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

This recipe does not make very good leftovers.

1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic (sliced very thin)
16 ounces fresh spinach
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar

Place the olive oil in a large skillet. Place the skillet over medium-low heat and add the garlic. Heat the oil and garlic together slowly. Don't let the garlic turn brown or it will be bitter. Stir occasionally.

When the garlic has cooked for about ten minutes increase the heat to medium-high and add the spinach. Add the salt and sugar.

Cook, tossing frequently, for about 3 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Serve.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size = about 1 cup

Servings = 2

.

Amount Per Serving

Calories 78 Calories from Fat 27
  % Daily Value
Total Fat 3g 5%
    Saturated Fat 0g 2%
    Monounsaturated Fat 2g  
    Trans Fat 0g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 323mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 10g 3%
    Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
    Sugars 7g  
Protein 7g  
Vitamin A 420% Vitamin C 106%
Calcium 23% Iron 34%
Vitamin K 1083 mcg Potassium 1262 mg
Magnesium 178 mg