This Fresh Spinach Saute is super simple, super tasty, super healthy.
The making of Fresh Spinach Saute
Popeye used to eat his straight from the can. And that can always showed up just when he needed it so he could knock Blutto out of the world and save Olive Oil from his evil advances!
With its healthy components, Popeye was smart to make spinach his veggie of choice. Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled. It is a rich source of vitamin A (and especially high in lutein), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
See, it's a real powerhouse.
I just spent a week with girlfriends in North Carolina, and they were telling me how much they love eating spinach, right from the can. Maybe when I was a kid, but now I prefer my spinach fresh.
Fresh in a salad, or in a light sauté. Like this Fresh Spinach Saute.
Which uses Olive Oil, but not Blutto.
Ingredients for Fresh Spinach Saute
- Fresh Spinach - I like getting a bag or box of already cleaned and seemed spinach, just for the ease of it. Bunches of spinach, of course, work as well, they are just a bit more work to get ready. You could substitute baby swiss chard or baby kale.
- Olive oil - I use extra virgin - olive oil adds so much more flavor than just vegetable oil. Or you could try some avocado oil.
- Fresh Garlic - just a clove or 2
- Red Pepper Flakes - A dash or two for a bit of heat, but you can omit if you want
- Balsamic vinegar - just a dash to liven things up. Or you could use a squeeze of lemon juice or a dash of red wine vinegar.
- Salt and freshly ground pepper - I always freshly grind my pepper, it makes so much difference. And again, being such a simple dish little things like fresh pepper can make a big difference in flavor.
Your Spinach Choices
I love the convenience of buying spinach already cleaned in a bag. Or Box. Baby spinach is best.
You can also buy bunches of fresh spinach to make this recipe. Fresh spinach bought in bunches usually has a lot of dirt in the stems and leaves, so they need to be washed multiple times until no more grit and dirt is in the water. (We don't like dirt in our spinach, not good at all). The best way to thoroughly wash fresh spinach is in copious amounts of water, gently swishing the spinach around with your hands and then "lifting" the spinach from the water into a colander. Once it is cleaned, remove the large stems and then proceed with the recipe.
Spinach is also very easy to grow if you have a garden. And there is nothing better than the freshness of the freshest spinach you can eat!
Cooking the Spinach for Fresh Spinach Saute
It's hard to believe that big bunches of fresh spinach will cook down to almost nothing in the pan. That's why it's important to not only use a larger skillet than you might think you need but to add the spinach in handfuls, tossing the leaves in the hot oil until they wilt, before adding more.
Just keep tossing the fresh with the cooked until it's all done.
Want more ways to enjoy your spinach? Try these:
Fresh Spinach Saute
- 1 bag whole-leaf baby spinach can substitute baby swiss chard
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- Dash balsamic vinegar or a squeeze of lemon juice, or dash red wine vinegar
- salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the garlic and saute until soft but not brown. Add the red pepper flakes and the spinach, a handful at a time until it wilts. As each batch wilts, add the next one using tongs to toss. Add the vinegar and adjust seasonings with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve hot or warm.