Sautéed Spinach: Spinaci Saltati

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by Chef Lidia Matticcchio Bastianich

Yield: Makes 6 servings

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Ingredients

  • 2 poundsbunch spinach or 2 10-ounce cellophane packages spinach
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves peeled
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Wash the spinach (see washing tips below), but don't dry it completely. The water that clings to the leaves will steam the spinach as it cooks.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy skillet over medium heat. Whack the garlic cloves with the side of a knife and toss them into the oil. Cook, shaking the pan, until golden, about 2 minutes. Scatter the spinach a large handful at a time into the pan, waiting until each batch wilts before adding another. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cover the pan. Cook until the spinach begins to release its liquid. Uncover the pan and cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted and its water has evaporated, 1 to 3 minutes. Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper if you like. Serve hot.
  3. Variation: Spinach Sautéed with Bread Crumbs: Adding a small amount of dry breadcrumbs to the pan near the end of cooking is a traditional Istrian way to prepare spinach. Bread crumbs not only add flavor but also absorb some of the liquid that the spinach gives off, making the spinach neater if you're putting it on the same plate. Prepare the sautéed spinach as described above, sprinkling 2 to 3 tablespoons of fine, dry bread crumbs over it just before removing it from the heat.

Tips/Techniques

This segment appears in show #2805. Recipe reprinted from Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen, Alfred A. Knopf 2002 © 2002 Lidia Matticchio Bastianich Used with permission
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