Friday, April 30, 2010

The Great Spinach Switch. A Fast Easy Lighter Version Of An Old Favorite.

Still getting whipped around by the weather here in Sonoma. We've gone from perfect warm spring weather to hail and rain, to sun lashed by cloudbursts and windy gusts. Last night my little olive tree blew over. Time to replant. This morning it's crisp, windy and cool. More of a March day than teetering on the edge of May.
 Today is a day for spinach! Not creamed spinach but a lighter version, flavored with dill and spiked at the end for an edge. It's called Mysore Spinach or Spinach with Dill and it's fast and easy too. Nothing to kick about there. The only drawback is the need for more spinach because this stuff goes fast and spinach once steamed is notorious for "shrinkage". So depending on how many people you're serving, you may need more than you think.
 I made this dish using one bag of organic baby spinach, about 12 oz. If you're serving more than 4 people you may want to get a bit more.
  Here's how to make this simple, tasty side dish.
  Rinse and chop about 12 oz. of fresh spinach.
Chop 1/2 cup of fresh dill
  Put the spinach and the dill in a large skillet and heat it on low. Put the lid on the skillet and let it steam gently. Shake the pan every now and then until the spinach is wilted and tender, about 10 minutes or so.
When the spinach and dill are cooked, add:
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 cup of whipping cream.
 Turn up the heat and cook down the spinach and cream. Boil it down and make sure you  keep stirring so nothing burns.
 In a separate pan heat:
1 Tbs unsalted butter
When the butter foams up add in:
1/4 tsp  black mustard seed
When the mustard seeds start to pop add in:
1/8 tsp cumin seed
1 dried red chilli
When the cumin and chilli turn color, take the pan off the heat and pour the mixture into the cooked spinach.
 Stir and serve.

  This is a nice, mild and tasty dish, great with even non-Indian meals. Not as rich as creamed spinach, it's freshness and the addition of dill, makes it a great change up from the usual.


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