That sounds over confident, but this recipe is seriously delicious…
I’m a big fan of the spinach served at Love & War in Texas. I’ve been trying to recreate their recipe at home for about two years now. Well, last night I lucked out & made a batch that tasted as good (and perhaps a little better), so I thought I’d write it down.
I used several “specialty” ingredients – but it’s just the stuff I normally have on hand. Feel free to make substitutions based on what’s in your pantry, or easily available (except for the broth – I’m going to insist on the broth).
Seriously, the BEST Spinach Recipe
- garlic avocado oil
- small splash of rattlesnake oil
- salted butter
- dried shallots
- garlic powder
- Ruth Ann’s Seasoning Blend
- sliced crimini mushrooms
- large bag fresh spinach
- Swanson’s Vegetable Broth
- Quattro Formaggio (a blend of shredded Parmesan, Asiago, Fontina & Provolone)
- Add some garlic olive oil, a dash of rattlesnake oil and some salted butter to a skillet. Throw in a handful of dried shallots and a half a bag (or a small square container of sliced mushrooms). Sprinkle with garlic powder & Ruth Ann’s (a blend of salt, pepper, more garlic, onion powder, & lemon peel – one of my most used spice blends). Cook the mushrooms and shallots slowly over medium heat. The mushrooms will give off moisture which will reconstitute the shallots and make them melty. You don’t want an excessive amount of oil, so use sparingly at first – you can always add a splash more if needed. Cook until mushrooms have a good color and are soft. Empty mushrooms and shallots into a bowl, draining excess moisture.
- Do not wipe out skillet & return to low heat (hopefully there’s still some oil residue in there – if not add a bit). Add washed spinach to pan and season with garlic & Ruth Ann’s. Add a splash of vegetable broth* for moisture – be careful to not add too much liquid – you don’t want it to be overly wet, you just want to create steam to help the spinach wilt. Drain excessive liquid, but leave spinach in pan. A tiny bit of liquid is OK (you will need it for steam in the next step). *a note on vegetable broth. It HAS to be the one I linked. This Swanson version is THE ONLY one I cook with. It does not have tomatoes or peppers, and is subtle perfection. I pretty much use it in 80% of my vegetable dishes. Do not get the same brand’s vegetable stock, or the low sodium or vegetarian versions – the do not taste the same. I buy mine at Target.
- Spread out spinach over bottom of skillet. Spread a layer shallots & mushrooms on top of the spinach. Top the dish with Quattro Fromaggio (shredded cheese). You can probably use other white cheese blends (Italian or Swiss) – but I always keep a bag or two of Q.F. in my freezer. It keeps forever & that way I always have it on hand for recipes. Leave the pan on the burner, but turn off the heat and top with a lid. This will capture the steam and melt the cheese faster. Serve & enjoy!
That may look complicated, but it’s really easy since the mushrooms and spinach cook so quickly. It was exceptional. The rattlesnake oil gave it a little extra heat – which is a plus for us – but if you like it mild, leave that ingredient out.
Ways I’ve screwed this recipe up in the past (never inedible, but never as good either):
- used fresh onions instead of dried ones – overpowered the dish
- used button mushrooms (but I bet baby portobellos would be just as tasty as the criminis) – too firm a texture for this dish
- used oil without butter or butter without oil – it really needs a blend of both to get the taste right
- cooked the mushrooms and the spinach together – the flavors mingled too early and the whole dish was off because of it. Also hard to get the textures right, cooking both at once.
- using straight Mozzarella – not quite the right flavor & a little too stringy
- not draining the excess liquid as I went – soupy mess
- using fresh or jarred garlic – overpowered the delicate spinach flavor
Happy spinach cooking – enjoy!