Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Spinach Duet

As spring settles into the grocery store, I greedily scarf up the asparagus and smile at Florida's newly-ripened sweet corn. I skip down produce aisles noting that the distance traveled for a vegetable to reach my table is lessening every day.

I bypass the fresh spinach. In truth, I am a bit of a lazybones. Someone who has perfected the art of vacuuming pet fur off of the couch while sitting on said couch. And as long as I am confessing - I will admit to preferring bagged spinach. Not just prefer - rejoice in it. Remembering the years I served it still containing a grain of sand or two or 30. I love the stuff - when someone else washes it for me. I tell myself about e-coli and eating fresh and local and add another bag of spinach to my cart. In celebration of the greening of spring, lots of spinach came to my table last week. In bags. You have my permission to use the fresh stuff.

This is from Sprigs of Rosemary - a lovely blog that has tickled my fancy and fed my green-genes.


Pasta with Shrimp, Spinach and a little Lemon Cream Sauce - serves 4 in my family where portion control is not a strong point or 6
(Adapted from Sprigs of Rosemary)
1 pound spaghetti
Juice of 1-2 lemons (you need about 1/2 cup)
Zest of the 1-2 lemons (you decide how lemony you want it)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup light cream
½ cup of freshly-shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
1 bag baby spinach
1 pound shrimp, cleaned
salt and pepper to taste

Zest and juice the lemon. Cook pasta adding the shrimp in during the lat two minutes of cooking time. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water. In same pot (love the "same pot" directions) boil the olive oil, half and half, zest and 1/2 cup of the pasta water together for two minutes over high heat. Return pasta and shrimp to pot and stir until coated. Add the cheese and 1/4 cup lemon juice and toss. If needed, add more pasta water, a few tablespoons at a time until the sauce is at your desired consistency. Add remaining lemon juice, then toss in spinach leaves wilted. Salt and pepper to taste (I like it peppery without much salt). Serve, passing Parmigiano-Reggiano separately.

Or play with this easy (I am all about ease) Chicken-Spinach-Avocado Salad from The Splendid Table. - serves 4

1 bag baby spinach
2 chicken breasts cooked
1-2 avocados
sliced favorite black olives
grape tomatoes
feta cheese crumbles
dressing: equal parts lemon juice and olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Favorite fresh herbs: cilantro, Italian parsley or lemon thyme are all good in this

Toss spinach, chicken, avocados, olives, feta, grape tomatoes and favorite herb together. Whisk equal parts of lemon juice and olive oil together (I did a little less than 1/4 cup of each). Pour desired amount over salad - just moistening it and announce "dinner is served."

Minnesotans woke up this morning relieved to discover that there would be a white Passover after all (and some were worried).

And with temps staying fifteen degrees below normal, one must color those Easter eggs. For finding them in a sea of white could be tricky. Ask the tulips. Or don't. They don't seem to be planning on blooming anytime soon.
And my thanks to The Wine Lady Cooks for this lovely award. Please visit her charming blog and check out her goodies. She is having fun with bacon! And if you are a follower, feel free to add this to your blog. I am deeply appreciative that you spend your precious time with me. "Choosing" is too problematical for me! I am off to audition actors for a play and it's the worst part of the process. There is always a wealth of talent and a scarcity of roles. Just as there remains a wealth of talent in the blogging world.

46 comments:

Cristina, from Buenos Aires to Paris said...

I think I have to learn your technique of vacuuming while seated! Lovely dishes!
Greetings from Sorrento!

That Girl said...

You can have all my asparagus and I will take all yr fresh spinach.

Angie's Recipes said...

omg still white there!!! My husband would love live there :-))
The salad looks so good with avocado and baby spinach.

Beth said...

I loved your comments about portion control. We have issues with that sometimes, too!

Wanda..... said...

...and you, Claudia have a wealth of talent in the cooking world!

Pegasuslegend said...

I will take two plates please extra shrimps and some vino call me in the morning~ lovely lovely photo... The fresh spinach is fabulous in this dish!

Choices said...

You certainly have a world of knowledge in the cooking world. I love coming here. I do try some of these delicious dishes. Thank for sharing your knowledge.
Sending you warmth for sunny Florida!

Rebecca from Chow and Chatter said...

love this pasta dish as well and I hear you on the bagged spinach he he will check out her blog and so sorry about the snow

Rebecca from Chow and Chatter said...

love this pasta dish as well and I hear you on the bagged spinach he he will check out her blog and so sorry about the snow

Roz from 'la bella vita' said...

Claudia, you are so RIGHT on about the spinach! For crying out loud, why do we have shortcuts in life . . . like dishwashers? Duh! We need more bloggers like you who tell the truth and not be stuffy about everything being oh so perfectly from scratch. So sorry about the snow up there. You deserve that trip to Italy SOON!

SKIP TO MALOU said...

oh if only I could bring the sunshine and the green grass that we have here in SoCal.

I hear you with the spinach. I always get the bagged ones. I don't like the challenge of washing off dirt and sand haha.
I love both spinach dishes. SHhh i am not really into veggies but spinach is one of the few veggies you could find in my crisper haha!

have a great weekend!
malou

Miri Leigh said...

YUM- this looks great! Thanks for sharing all this knowledge!

Lynda said...

This dish just shouts spring to me Claudia-I'm loving it!It's healthy and delicious looking. As for bagged spinach, I too partake of the bag. I don't enjoy eating grit with the fresh stuff.

My Little Space said...

I thought it was spring there! It's miserable to have snow on spring. Cause everyone is looking forward to some green & colours. Anyway, your pasta & salad look as colourful as spring though. Hope you're enjoying your weekend.
Blessings, Kristy

Chris's Gourmet Fashion said...

The fresh spinach in your pasta and shrimp dish is sheer genius ... I love the combination of ingredients ... that lemon sauce ... this is a dish to try!!

FOODESSA said...

Once the gardeners had passed their rakes and filled up beddings full of fresh earth, we later almost ended up with the same blanket of pure delightful snow yesterday ;o)
Didn't last...and back to thoughts of refreshing Spring along with a refreshing spinach pasta...my kind of dish ;o)

Claudia, I do understand a little about laziness. Some guilty pleasure is certainly allowed. LOL
I still however, re-wash the bagged veggies with white vinegar and salt...one can never be too careful ;o)

Have a great week,
Claudia

Mary said...

Much to talk about. The pasta is wonderful. It would also be lovely with baby arugula. Don't you just love the Splendid Table? The recipes are always fine. As to the snow, big time bummer. Fortunately, it will eventually go away. In the meantime, have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Mehjabeen Arif said...

yum yum.. such flavors on table.. let me join ur party !
love the color.. sending sunshine from california..

new to ur space n happy to follow u for more wonderful recipes.

Do visit me when u get time
http://comeletseat.blogspot.com

Jeannie said...

You can give me that plate of pasta with shrimps anytime of day and I'll devour it with pleasure! Lovely photo of those tulips pushing their way out of the snow!

Catherine said...

Dear Claudia, It is difficult to get all of the sand out of the spinach. What a waste if you don't get all of the sand out because then the meal will be lost. The salad looks delish also. Congratulations on the award. You are so kind you deserve it. Blessings, Catherine xox

The Mom Chef said...

I'd usually try to make you jealous with our 64 degree weather at the moment (ever after 9pm), but since it comes with dozens of tornadoes of late, I'll take your snow.

Bless you for admitting to the bagged spinach. Yes, I do the same thing. Time is of the essence with a 4 year-old.

Those two dishes look wonderful!

Reeni said...

I can't believe you have snow! I love it. And both your creations are right up my alley! Chock full of all the things I love. Nothing wrong with bagged spinach! I have some on hand right now ready to go...

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I guess spring doesn't get to your part of the world until May. Oy vey. Love the pasta dish and the salad too and I'm all for shortcuts and pre-washed spinach - unless you're getting the spinach for free from your garden.

michelangelo in the kitchen said...

Your spinach duet sounds really lovely! What a delicious combination of flavors to welcome Spring even if it's white. Thanks for finding these super recipes for us to try and enjoy for sure. Cheers!!!

theUngourmet said...

I'm with you on the bagged spinach! I makes my life so much easier.

I love the look of this shrimp pasta. Delicious!

Anna Johnston said...

Any leftovers? Love the prawn pasta. AND... Snow? Tis Spring... We are heading into the cold cold weather... brrrr. Congrats on the 'One Lovely Blog' Award. And good luck with the choosing actors. :)

Barbara GF said...

Oh, Mother Nature can be so cruel, Claudia! What a tease a taste of spring can be. But your waxing poetic on spinach and greens makes me smile and you know spring will arrive before too soon. Good luck with the auditions!

Anna C said...

Congratulations on the award!
I'm with you when it comes to pre-washed spinach. Glad you also mentioned asparagus, which to me is the quintessential spring vegetable. These bright green vegetables are at least a little consolation for the lousy weather we're having this spring.

Bridgett ~ La Bella Cook said...

I am loving all the asparagus too and we even have a huge festival here celebrating the spears! I am happy to have spinach as well though so this pasta looks fantastic. I can't believe how much snow you still have. Hope you warm up soon!

Juliana said...

Oh! You just gave me some ideas for spinach...I have one big bag from Costco...both the pasta and the salad look great. And what? A white Passover? White Easter? Sounds a bit scary...have a great week Claudia and stay warm :-)

Jill Colonna said...

Claudia, I love your post and you make me laugh about washing the spinach. Read somewhere that if you eat more dirt it's better for your immune system so you have an excuse for the 2-30 grains of sand...
Can't believe the snow scenes. What is happening? Enjoy your Easter!

myfrenchkitchen said...

Looks delicious..and yes, I agree, the bagged spinach is so beautiful and clean AND still healthy(on the condition one doesn't leave it for days and days in the bag..) that I too am not ashamed of admitting I use it too....as do I use frozen peas!
bisous
Ronelle

natalia said...

Ciao Claudia ! as I wouldn't ìknow what to choose I take both ! Gnammm !

Angela said...

Spring must be on the way. It must. I am shivering in my long johns, but I refuse to believe that spring is not going to come tomorrow.

Kristen said...

I am with you, Claudia, I prefer the ease of the bagged spinach, too. Both of those dishes look delicious. I am wondering what Mother Nature has in store for the rest of the year. Things are crazy!

Diethood.com said...

You gave us two wonderful dishes to drool over! Looks amazing!

Cleaning spinach is a pain!! But it is one of my favorite greens to eat and cook with. So I'll take the pain once in a while. The other times I buy it in a bag, too. :)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

More snow? Oh no! Here I am in Colorado and the trees are in bloom and the temps ahve been pleasant :)

I am a fan of fully washed bagged spinach, too, Claudia. I will need to eat lots of yummy salads like these to get ready for my daughter's wedding next year!

Sandra said...

Oh Claudia how wonderful that salad looks, I love how you made it!
Snow!!! Oh No..I can believe those are tulips somewhere under the snow!
So sorry!

I received one more tag game and it is about Easter Menu..I tag you and I hope that you will find time to participate!
Visit my blog for more info!! thanks!

Magic of Spice said...

I can't believe you still have snow...wow! Both of these dishes look wonderful, love fresh spinach! And congratulations on your well deserved award :)

Velva said...

What is it about the Winter this year (sigh). I promise warm months will come soon.

It never occurs to me to purchase anything other than bag spinach. Unlike other types of lettuces, spinach works perfect from the bag, As always, you have prepared some beautiful dishes made with spinach.

Have a great Easter or passover.

Velva

Kim - Liv Life said...

Your snow photos are simply beautiful!! Being in San Diego we don't get to see snow all that often and I always enjoy the photos.
I've reduced my carb intake of late, and I can tell you that your pasta has me literally craving it!
The salad with the beautiful avocados is looking pretty darn nice as well. I think I really need to go make our dinner!

tasteofbeirut said...

I love this dish! very springy and fresh! happy Easter!

We Are Not Martha said...

Everything looks so fresh and delicious! I've been craving shrimp and avocado so much lately. Must be spring! :)

Sues

Fresh Local and Best said...

I shudder thinking about those days when spinach leaves were large and stringy, sold in bunches that had a lot of grit to them. Hallelujah for prewashed baby spinach!

I love spinach in pasta. This looks delish!

Roz from 'la bella vita' said...

Claudia, has the snow melted yet? Just stopped by to say thank you for all of your kind supportive comments this week with my 'blog issue'. Wishing you also a beautiful weekend, sweetie!!

Plate and Pour said...

I recently got a ton of spinach in my CSA box and am looking for ways to use it! I am definitely making this for dinner tonight, thanks for the recipe!