Weekend Recipe: Sauteed Garlic-Lemon Spinach

Photo courtesy of America's Test Kitchen
Photo courtesy of America's Test Kitchen

Kale may get all the attention, but Popeye's vegetable of choice does pretty good for itself in the nutritional department. It contains more calcium than most vegetables and is a great source of magnesium, iron, and fiber. Plus, it's available all year round. America's Test Kitchen suggests serving the garlickly-lemon spinach as a side to accompany a main dish like fish, steak, or pork. Enjoy!

Sauteed Garlic-Lemon Spinach
Serves 4 as a side dish


The amount of spinach may seem excessive, but the spinach wilts considerably with cooking. We like to use a salad spinner to wash and dry the spinach. If you have kosher or coarsely ground sea salt on hand, use one for the final sprinkling just before serving. This spinach dish makes an excellent accompaniment to almost any main course from chicken and fish to steak and pork.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
4 medium cloves garlic, cut crosswise into very thin (1/16-inch) slices (about 2 tablespoons)
3 (10-ounce) bags flat-leaf spinach, stems removed, leaves washed and dried
Table salt
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice

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Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and garlic in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; cook until the garlic is light golden brown, shaking the pan back and forth when the garlic begins to sizzle, about 3 minutes (stirring with a spoon will cause the garlic to clump). Add the spinach by the handful; using tongs to stir and coat the spinach with the oil.

Once all the spinach is added, sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper flakes, and lemon zest over the top and continue stirring with tongs until the spinach is uniformly wilted and glossy green, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the spinach to a colander set in a sink and gently squeeze spinach with tongs to release excess juices. Return the spinach to the Dutch oven; sprinkle with lemon juice and stir to coat. Drizzle with the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle with additional salt to taste. Serve immediately.

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