Pan-Steamed Spinach

When dishes are served on a bed of spinach, they are called Florentine because when Catherine de Medici left her home in Florence in the 1500s to marry the king of France, she brought along her own cooks to prepare spinach, her favorite vegetable. Lacking a wealth of recipe ideas and needing some versatility, they often served the spinach underneath whatever they were making. Nevertheless, this is a great way to serve spinach.

Serves 6.

2 to 3 pounds flat-leaf (bunch) spinach, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ to ½ teaspoon black pepper

1. Wash the spinach well and shake out the excess water. Place in a large saucepan over high heat and add the wet spinach. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a colander and set aside.

2. Preheat the saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. Add the garlic and cook until golden about 3 minutes. Add the cooked spinach, toss to combine and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

From The $50 Dinner Party: 26 Dinner Parties That Won’t Break Your Bank, Your Back, or Your Schedule (Simon & Schuster, 1998)