Cooking the spinach in the lemon and honey -- vs adding them afterward -- inserts a brightness I've not noticed before. And I really liked the underlying bite from the red pepper flakes.
LEMON & HONEY GLAZED SPINACH
Active time: 20 minutes (including 7 to clean farmer's market spinach)
Time to table: 20 minutes
Serves 4 with small portions, 2 with generous portions
1 pound spinach greens (see ALANNA's TIPS)
1 tablespoon olive oil (see TIPS)
1 tablespoon garlic (from a jar!)
Zest of a lemon
Juice from about half a lemon
1 tablespoon honey (next time, try doubling)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper
Clean greens well, removing tough stems. (See TIPS.) Heat a large skillet on MEDIUM HIGH. Add olive oil and let heat. Add garlic, zest, lemon juice, honey, salt and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, then stir a bit. Add about half the greens and stir well continuously. As the greens begin to cook down, add more until they're all in the pan. Continue to stir until spinach is cooked. Taste and add more red pepper flakes (and additional salt and pepper) as desired.
Cooked with 1T oil, 4 Servings: 85 Cal (39% from Fat, 19% from Protein, 42% from Carb); 5 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 10 g Carb; 4 g Fiber; 181 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 674 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 1 point
Cooked with 1T oil, 2 Servings: 153 Cal (40% from Fat, 16% from Protein, 44% from Carb); 7 g Protein; 8 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 19 g Carb; 5 g Fiber; 236 mg Calcium; 6 mg Iron; 1360 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 3 points
Cooked with no oil, 4 Servings: 56 Cal (11% from Fat, 27% from Protein, 61% from Carb); 5 g Protein; 1 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 10 g Carb; 4 g Fiber; 181 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 674 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 0 points
Cooked with no oil, 2 Servings: 93 Cal (7% from Fat, 24% from Protein, 68% from Carb); 7 g Protein; 1 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 19 g Carb; 5 g Fiber; 235 mg Calcium; 6 mg Iron; 1359 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 1 point
- Another time, I'll try a bag of spinach because it's so easily available and convenient and ... you know, all those good things. However, I do wonder if the greens might actually be too tender for this cooking technique?
- With the lemon juice and water from the spinach, there's enough liquid to cook the spinach without oil, I think, which I'll try another time.
- Spinach can be gritty. I get good results cleaning it under running water, running my fingers across the leaves, then moving it to a colander to drain a bit while continuing on with the rest. Many cooks, however, advise filling a sink with a few inches of water, swirling the leaves around in the water, letting the leaves sit a bit while the grit drops to the bottom. Some cooks even advise doing this twice.
- Usually it's time efficient to wash/chop vegetables while the olive oil heats in the pan. Tonight, however, cleaning the spinach took long enough that I turn the stove on mid-way in the cleaning process.