Monday, May 15, 2006

Red Red Spinach

We found something called Red Spinach at the Farmer’s market last weekend. I wrote a little about it in yesterday’s blog.

Well, turn's out that it was good! Much better than I had anticipated – which always makes things taste memorably good, somehow.

I made a simple preparation, which I called Red Red Spinach (because of the red pepper flakes and the red spinach). Just sautéed it, stems and all, in a little olive oil with some minced garlic, salt and red pepper flakes. Just until it wilted. Not too long. Some Pecorio-Romano cheese grated on top. That’s the whole recipe.

In contrast to ‘regular’ spinach, i.e. the non-red variety, this spinach has fairly thick stems. Which I thought might be a little tough. But they turned out to be surprisingly tender.

And very flavorful in general. It seems to hold up a little better to sautéing than ‘regular’ spinach. Not that it is at all tough, but there is more left in the pan after the cooking. Sometimes things like spinach seem to just melt away into nothing with a little cooking.

The red highlights on the leaves remained in the cooked spinach. Making for a nice appearance on the plate.

But, to the great disappointment of TeenGirl – no pink sauce. We got the idea from the lady selling the red spinach at the farmer’s market that the juice from the leaves and stems would be red, making a sort of bright pink sauce when cooked. But nothing. So aside from the wonderful flavor and the pleasing red highlights in the finished dish, no shock value of pink sauce to entice the younger crowd.

None the less, highly recommended. We will certainly look for it again!

Red Red Spinach
Recipe by surfindaave

1 pound red spinach leaves and stems, washed but not dried, chopped roughly
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
½ cup grated pecorino-romano cheese, plus some additional to sprinkle on top

Heat olive oil in a large sautee pan over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and sautee for 1 minute. Add red spinach, and toss lightly. Cover for 2-3 minutes, until wilted. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Toss in the hot oil briefly. Turn out to a warmed serving dish. Add grated cheese and toss to incorporate. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and serve. Enjoy!

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Blogger dakotajone said...

Hey, THANKS! We got some of this stuff in an Indian market near us yesterday, and were trying to figure out what to do with it. I wasn't having any luck finding recipes for red spinach, which was how it was labeled. We'll give yours a try...and let you know how it goes.

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It'a also called amaranth leaves. You can find many recipes on the internet under that name.

10:43 AM  
Blogger De said...

I've tried your recipe. Its true, the red spinach taste delicious. The stems are still crispy after cooking. I used a dash of dried thyme and marjoram instead of black pepper. And I also found out that the leaves do impart a red/pinkish color. The color tinged the garlic and tip of the wooden spoon I used to mix the stuff while cooking. I wonder why you didn't get the same result.

1:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have to chop the leaves in order to get more pink sauce out. If cooked chopped with Indian spices , the whole dish is considerably pink, and it even stains other veg like potatoes cooked with it.

1:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This looks great. Found Madhur Jaffrey suggesting it as an accompaniment to her Coconut and Green Chili Prawns and wondered what on earth it was. Soon as I can find some I'll give this a shot.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used it in my Tinolang Manok, a filipino soup dish,made with chicken and green papaya, and lots of fresh ginger and onions also pepper leaves, it was really hearty and nutritious

12:29 PM  
Blogger Andre said...

I came across this searching for red spinach after the restaurant where I work bought some from a local farmer. The entire kitchen was shocked at how sweet it was compared to a standard spinach of the same texture, the word candy was used several times. When used in a lunch special sauteed whole in lard and wilted with chicken stock the juices came out a lovely pink shade. Topped with a turkey neck and potato hash cake and a sunnyside egg we sold 20 or so in an 80 cover service, with the waitstaff begging for a second sample plate. I'm sold on this stuff.

11:49 AM  

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