Dinner? Something With Spinach

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I’ve been traveling the last two weeks, lecturing and designing with some family time thrown in.

Three cities in three states and two different time zones has me now sorting out my own house and garden chores. I opened the refrigerator and promptly threw out the blackened cauliflower, lettuce, and some other thing I couldnt recognize, which left it pretty much empty.

It’s now six o’clock and I’m hungry. The cook won’t be arriving any time soon to prepare dinner. Actually, the cook will never arrive, or should I say the cook is here peering into open cupboards wondering what to piece together.

Spinach for Dinner

The row of spinach I planted last fall is perfect now. During the winter, the leaves hovered at a steady state of miniature. The warm spring weather has catapulted them into lush rosettes of crinkly dark green vitamin A.

Spinach will be the centerpiece of a home-grown fast-food meal put together with some staples that are always on the shelf.

I can walk out the back door harvest dinner and prepare it in less time than it takes to order a pizza and have it delivered. (It’s not too late to plant a spring crop of spinach, by the way. It matures in about forty days. Just enough time before the weather heats up.)

Spaghetti with Spinach and Anchovies

Some version of pasta with good olive oil, garlic, hard cheese, and something from the garden is always on the menu. It’s the mac and cheese go-to of our household, and I never grow tired of it. This time I am adding some salty fish. Here’s how to make Spaghetti with Spinach and Anchovies.

Swirl some extra virgin Greek olive oil (about a 1/4 cup or so) in a sauce pan over medium heat.

Finely chop anchovy fillets from a small can and add to the pan.

Throw in two garlic cloves that have been peeled and chopped and sauté until the aroma fills the kitchen. (Take care to not overcook the garlic.)

Coarsely chop 6-8 cups of fresh spinach leaves from the garden (I used the amount in the photo) and cook for a few seconds, just until the leaves start to wilt.

Immediately pour over cooked and drained Italian pasta. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese. You can forego the anchovies if you must, but my husband who doesn’t like anchovies and didn’t know he was eating them loved this. And I questioned him repeatedly.


Meet Jennifer Bartley

Jennifer Bartley grew up on a ravine near an ancient Indian mound. She remembers spending glorious childhood days picking wildflowers and playing in an old,…

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