German-Style Simmered Spinach

Big thanks to Russ over at The Domestic Man for permission to share this recipe here! His site is packed to the gills with kitchen inspiration, and his cookbook, The Ancestral Table, is due for release tomorrow, so check it out!

Who doesn’t love spinach? Besides kids, I mean. Actually, funny story, kids are more apt to eat vegetables if they watch Popeye. Personally, I despised it growing up, but now I love spinach in all forms – raw, blanched, or simmered (as in this recipe); it has a mild and unique taste with each preparation.

This recipe is modeled after the German dish Rahmspinat (“creamed spinach”), and it mostly true to the original except for the fact that this particular recipe is dairy-free. So I guess the more appropriate term for this dish would be Spinat. If you’d like to prepare it more true to the original dish, I’ve added instructions below!

serves four

20oz fresh spinach (or two pkgs frozen spinach)

4oz bacon, chopped (3-4 slices)

1 yellow onion, blended

2 cloves garlic, blended w/ onion

1/2 tsp each salt, pepper, ground nutmeg

approx 1 tbsp water or chicken broth (as needed)

1/4 cup cream (optional)

2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

Your first step is to blanch the spinach. Drop it in boiling water for about 15-20 seconds, then fish it out once it looks softened. Drain and rinse with cold water, then gently squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the little green glob.

Chop your squeezed spinach into 1″ chunks and set aside.

In a skillet, cook the bacon on med/low heat.

Don’t drain the bacon grease as it cooks – we’re going to use it.

Add the blended onion and garlic, stirring everything together.

Add in the salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg, and simmer on med/low heat for about six minutes to sweat some of the onion’s sharp taste out of the dish.

After six minutes it should look much drier and more like a paste.

Stir in the spinach. Add a little water or chicken stock if it looks too dry, maybe 1 tbsp or so. If you are making creamed spinach, this is the time to add 1/4 cup cream. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, the spinach should have darkened and softened a little more. Serve immediately, garnished with boiled egg. This dish is often served with boiled potatoes as well. I made this dish while visiting my friends over at Virginia is for Hunter Gatherers, as an accompaniment to their fantastic Hasenpfeffer recipe.

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