Spinach is my all-time favorite dark leafy green. I particularly love it this way - softly wilted in a pan of sautéed onions and butter and then tossed with a rich white sauce made with chicken broth, a bit of heavy cream and spiced with a wee bit of nutmeg. It's heavenly, as is, but if you have pine nuts for the toasting ? Oh my, they are a nice addition to the dish.
1 lb. fresh spinach, washed and spun dry in a salad spinner
1/2 medium yellow onion, small dice
1 tbsp. butter
White Sauce Ingredients:
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 pinches nutmeg
1 pinch white pepper
1 pinch sugar
Optional: a handful of pine nuts, roasted to a golden brown in a dry pan on your stove top.
Making the Dish:
1. Melt the 2 tbsp. measure of butter in a deep saucepan. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for about a minute.
2. Stir the sugar into the chicken broth and gently add it to the roux, stirring to thicken.
3. Add the heavy cream and stir to incorporate and further thicken the sauce.
4. Add the nutmeg and white pepper and whisk to get any little lumps broken up and incorporated.
5. Turn the heat off under the sauce, cover the pan and set it aside.
6. Melt the 1 tbsp. measure of butter in a deep fry pan. Add the onion and sauté until the onion just begins to brown at the edges of the pieces.
7. Turn the washed and spun spinach into the pan and toss to coat the spinach with the butter and onion juices. Lower the heat a bit and cover the pan.
8. Wilt the spinach just until it collapses in on itself.
9. Turn the white sauce into the pan and toss the get all the spinach and onion coated and slippery with sauce. Cover the pan and gently heat, stirring ever minute or so, so that the sauce doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and the spinach is evenly cooked.
10. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and serve piping hot. If you have toasted the pine nuts, sprinkle them atop just before you serve so that they remain crisp.
Note: Two cups of white sauce may seem too indulgent for you and your spinach. If that's the case, pour in the amount you prefer and use the excess white sauce over poached eggs and toast as a super regal breakfast. I'm sure you can find other uses for white sauce, also !