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Spinach Saute

Don’t like your greens?  Well do as the Greeks do! I typically love to eat greens in Chinese style, sauteed in garlic and ginger.  But I find those particular dishes swimming in oil and can do more harm than good. But recently, I watched the episode below of Anthony Bourdain’s trip to Greece. There were scrumptious lamb dishes and cheese filled phylo pastries that were showcased in this episode.  But the highlight for me were the “ubiquitous greens” that they showed for a mere 3 seconds(see the first 5 minutes of the video).  It looked so homey, and it is these types of food that I am most interested in about other countries. But I digress – 
They didn’t mention what these greens were,  so I have some researching to do.  I often prefer to cook Chinese broccoli because of the subtle bitterness from the stems. But I couldn’t find any at the store in my neighborhood.  Spinach is a great alternative and can be used in a variety of ways (salad,  soups, etc.). Frozen spinach is definitely a no-no in this recipe.  I know we’re wilting these greens,  but the consistency you’d get from frozen spinach would be pretty awful. 

The kicker in this recipe is the garlic and the olive oil. I cook the garlic in this recipe sloooowwwwllllyyy –  in low heat and crank it up a little when I’m ready to saute because I like it a little golden. Cooking the garlic slowly infuses the olive oil with the garlic flavor.  If you cook it too fast,  you get burned garlic and it’s not given enough time to fully flavor the oil. 
Mind the amount of oil you use,  remove some before adding the spinach if it seems too much. Do not be fooled by the amount spinach in your pan,  it will wilt down to 1/4 of its original size when it’s done wilting. I remove the pan off the heat when wilting the spinach,  this way it’s not overdone. The residual heat from the pan will do the trick. Gently fold the greens so that you don’t bruise the leaves. Move the bottom greens on the top for even wilting. 
Add a pinch of salt and coarse ground black pepper. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice to top it off,  it cuts through the oil and balances out the flavor from the garlic. Your hungry eaters may be fighting over these, so you may want to make some extra ;D
Spinach Saute
Serves 2

10 ounces pre-washed baby spinach
1 large garlic clove,  minced
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
PInch of salt
Course ground black pepper
Juice from 1/4 of lemon
Turn the heat of the stove top to medium low. Using a saute pan,  add the garlic and olive oil. In the right amount of heat,  the garlic should cook for about 5 minutes. It should barely sizzle-so adjust the heat as necessary. Once its done, turn off the stove and add the spinach.  Place the pan off the heat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Gently fold the greens to wilt evenly. Once it’s wilted,  add the juice of the lemon and serve.

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