This rendition makes for a great vegetarian dinner than even non-vegetarians will love. And it has spinach. Yes, spinach—but it’s creamed spinach, which even recalcitrant young ones will like. Seems, if it’s creamy, it’s no longer spinach.
Cream spinach also comes in the canned variety. Yet nothing compares to this dish being made from scratch. Fact is, it’s not that hard to prepare. It’s quite easy, and more nutritious and delicious than the canned stuff.
The other dish given is couscous, Creamed spinach over couscous is as marriage made in heaven. But you can use whatever grain desired, be it rice, quinoa, farro, or even kasha. And with regard to couscous, this time around we used what is called Israeli or Pearl Couscous. This is couscous with an oval grain texture, like orzo. If you prefer the fine grained variety, go right ahead. Both will a make a meal that will garner oohs and aahs, even from those vegetable adverse. With a good crusty loaf of bread and some good wine, be it white or red, you have a winner of a dinner—that is good tasting as well as heart healthy.
The guideline for this recipe is to cook the couscous first. And while the couscous is cooking, prepare the creamed spinach. Simple as that.
CREAMED SPINACH AND COUSCOUS
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1½ cups Israeli (Pearl) couscous
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley or 1 teaspoon dried
2 cups chicken broth
- In a medium pot or saucepan, heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic and cook over medium-high heart until golden.
- Stir in couscous. Add salt, pepper, and parsley and mix well. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until couscous is tender.
Yield: 4 servings.
2 pounds fresh spinach, coarse stems removed, washed and drained
Salt to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
5 tablespoons heavy cream
- Heat a large heavy skillet or saucepan. Add spinach and sprinkle with salt and nutmeg. Turn heat to high. Toss and stir the spinach for 3-4 minutes; by which time the spinach should be cooked. No additional water is necessary. Sufficient water will adhere to the spinach leaves.
- Drain spinach and press out any excess moisture. Place spinach in a blender with the cream and blend until smooth. Return spinach to the skillet or saucepan and reheat. You can add a little more nutmeg if you want. Some say this improves the taste.
Yield: 4 servings.
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