Sauteed Fresh Spinach and Garlic

 

coneflower

I was out in my garden the other day and noticed something…Autumn was peeking around the corner. It was very subtle, but I could feel its presence…

Zinnia

Pretty soon we will enter that season where we just stand in awe of nature as it paints our leaves fiery shades of red and orange…

But I thought before I get caught up marveling at the beautiful leaves of Autumn, I should pay tribute to my summer leaf friends. They are faithfully there all summer adding just a splash of color here and there…

Some leaves aren’t boastful with their beauty…in fact, you may even miss it if you aren’t looking…

 

 

Hosta leaves

Leaves have a beauty all their own, but some leaves have a beauty due to their flavor and not appearance…I think spinach falls into this category. I love spinach but when it comes to this leaf, I’d rather eat it than look at it!

When we were visiting my husband’s niece this summer, we ate at a cute little bistro (Bijon’s) in downtown Chicago. I ordered a grilled chicken breast that came with garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach and garlic. It was phenomenal…

Here is my version of the wonderful dinner that evening…

Warm Sauteed Fresh Spinach and Garlic Salad

This sauteed salad comes together quickly at the very end so it is best to have the following completed before you begin saute-ing the butter and garlic…

*  cube 8 oz. fresh mozarella cheese – please don’t substitute bagged pre-shredded mozarella…If you have never tried fresh mozarella, there is a world of difference between that and the pre-shredded kind found in bags. Fresh mozarella has almost a creamy-like texture to it and compliments this dish perfectly…

* slice approximately 1 pint of cherry tomatoes into halves

* slice 3 Tyson brand fully cooked, grilled chicken breasts into strips…I love these chicken breasts! Not only are they convenient (they are found in the freezer section of your grocery store in a bright green bag) but they are sooooo good! Follow the directions on the bag to prepare them but reduce the baking time to only about 10 minutes as you are going to be saute-ing them later…

Once these things are completed, continue with the following:

Into a large saucepot or extra large skillet put:

      1/4 c butter ( salted butter)

      1 T  extra virgin olive oil

Place on medium heat. When the butter has melted add:

      1 pint halved cherry tomatoes

      1 T  chopped garlic

When the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes. Then add:

      3 grilled chicken breasts, sliced

Saute until heated through. This next portion comes together very quickly.  When you are ready to sit down and eat procede with the following…

Into the hot mixture put:

      1 –  6 oz. bag pre-washed fresh spinach

Using a tongs, toss the spinach until all the leaves have been coated with the hot butter mixture. Place a lid over the pan and wilt the leaves slightly (this will take only seconds so please watch it carefully) Then add:

      8 oz. fresh mozarella cheese cut into bite-sized pieces

Remove from heat and serve immediately. Fresh mozarella cheese is a very soft cheese…you don’t want it to melt or you will be left with a stringy salad. To complete this meal, try serving it with garlic mash potatoes…the combination is absolutely heavenly! Enjoy!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

To make garlic mashed potatoes, I add about 1 T chopped garlic and about 2 teaspoons of onion powder to about 4-5 cups of mashed potatoes. Oh, and of course there’s the melted butter over the top…

garlic mashed potatoes

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