I fight to the finish because I eat my spinach

The husband's famous spinach
For two people, you will need at least two big bags (or three or four bundles) of fresh spinach. Trust me on this, cooked spinach shrinks down so much that if you use less, you will have naught but the memory of a green leaf to serve.

You will also need an SUV to bring all that raw spinach home.

Wash the spinach. Do a good job of it, unpleasantly crunchy bits like to hide among the leaves (it’s not as bad as with leeks, but it is bad enough). Shake off the excess water (you don’t have to be nuts about this, but you don’t want your spinach dripping, either). Pour a liberal splash of extra virgin olive oil into a heated saute pan (medium heat should do). Drop the freshly washed spinach into the pan. Watch it shrink ever so quickly (it’s like magic).

Cook the spinach until it is limp (this happens pretty quickly - perhaps a minute or two), then take it out. You will likely have to do this in batches, unless you have a pan the size of Kansas.

Try not to be horrified at how little cooked spinach there is.

Once the spinach is all cooked, add two or three cloves of minced garlic to the pan. Cook until brown (again, just a few minutes). As this is cooking, try to get the excess moisture out of your cooked spinach. You have options:
  • if you can stand the heat (and cooked spinach can be quite warm) squeeze the spinach over the sink with your bare hands, or
  • spin the cooked spinach in your salad spinner, or
  • roll the cooked spinach in a clean tea towel (be aware, depending on your towel, this may very well leave a stain), or
  • throw the spinach in the air 18 times (not very practical or wise, but oh so much fun)
Add the cooked, dried (somewhat) spinach to your pan with the juice of half a lemon. And about a small fistful of grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Add a dash of pepper and, if you want (it might not need it), salt.

Serve, enjoy, and be happy for me that, not only do I get to eat this, but I don’t have to cook it first to do so.
Tip: Did those 47 bags of spinach that you thought would feed your dinner party cooked down to next to nothing? Take that ounce of spinach and mix it with some freshly cooked rice. Rice. The great extender.

Of course, if you don’t have rice, you’ll have to resort to plan B: liquor (see link to the martini recipe at the end of the January 11th post).