Creamy Spinach with Feta. A wonderful side dish to any meal offering a lovely creamy texture backed up by some serious flavor! Don't know what to make as a side? Give this one a try!
Song of the day: "The Sweetest Thing" by U2
Creamy Spinach with Feta! I hear this phrase all the time: "I don't have the time!" Well, this is a dish that can be done in less than 30 minutes. Easy delicious and is a great accompaniment to any of those proteins you like. Truthfully, I would wrap this up in a pita and eat it like that for a healthy and delicious lunch!
Looking back at previous years, I came to the conclusion that I like to do things with complexity. This takes lots of time and I asked myself why do it? The answer came quickly, I just want to be seen and recognized. Isn't that what we all need and want? For me, this adds even more pressure to create that winner of a dish.
What I have experienced is something on the other side of the spectrum. Cooking purely from the place of love and passion without expectation. I can remember a time in my years playing instruments, that there were these moments of improv that were quite freeing and fun! A place where creativity is spontaneous and the experience of that sweet spot, "pardon the pun", is felt. What if I could do that in cooking? Food for thought!
Kicking things off!
Taking that food for thought, I am starting things off with a side dish that always is loved and devoured. Creamy Spinach with Feta. However, it is a side dish that can also make for a delicious lunch or even a filling for spinach dip if you wish! With only five ingredients and very little of your time, you will have a recipe that will surely accompany many of yours or your family's favorites.
Come with me into our kitchen and let me show you just how easy it is!
Five ingredient meal!
As I told you in the beginning, this dish only needs five ingredients for a great end result, and it goes something like this:
- Fresh spinach
- evo oil
- dried red chilis
- feta cheese
Getting the ball rolling.
To get things going, we first need to wash and trim the fresh spinach. You can omit this if you have the prewashed spinach in the package. Once the spinach is ready I have a pot of water on boil. A tip here is to get that tea kettle of yours on, and you will have boiling water in minutes. Spinach does not take that much time to blanch, only drop it in the pot and boil for 5 minutes. If you want you could sauté the spinach in the pan covered and let it wilt that way, however, I love the creaminess of the spinach when it is blanched first.
Here's where the flavor begins!
Now that we have our spinach blanched and drained, time to get it sautéing in a pan. More so, we want to build a wonderful base of flavor, and that is done by pressing a clove of garlic and placing it in the pan with some good olive oil! I also add in some red chili flakes for added spice. Now it is time to turn the heat on. Let's get it to a nice medium to high. I swirl the garlic and chili flakes with the oil, ensuring all that wonderful flavor is infusing into the oil!
I can hear the garlic starting to sizzle, but I don't want to burn it. Down goes the heat a bit and I squeeze some of the excess water from the spinach. Into the pan it goes and some stirring and tossing are in order! Don't you love that aroma of garlic and spinach roaming in the kitchen? Brings back so many memories of growing up in an Italian home! We want to sauté that spinach for about five minutes, using a wooden spoon to break it up a bit. It looks so delicious. You don't want to season yet because we have one more ingredient to add and that is the feta.
What feta to use!
There are many types of feta. More so you will see in the stores cow feta, goat feta, and even sheep feta. If there is anything I can offer as for the flavors and aroma of these types is that cow has the more subtle and sweeter aroma. Sheep would be next on the scale of flavor and aroma offering a bit more acidity and pungent smell. Lastly, goat feta would be the strongest. It has a strong taste and acidity and the aroma close to very aged cheese. I think I hear a question coming: "What feta did you use?" I used the goat feta because I love that edge that it gives to brighten the sweet earthy flavor of the spinach!
Taste for seasoning.
Because the feta is on the salty side, I didn't add any salt to the dish as of yet. It is now that I want to taste it and see if it needs anything. I think it is good, just needs some black pepper. That's it! It is really up to you on the seasoning!
Our dish is done!
There you have it. In less than 30 minutes we have created a wonderful dish that is aromatic and look at that wonderful creaminess and vibrant green color! Let's go in for a taste! OMG, it is such a wonderful heartfelt feeling when you get a bit of that spinach in your mouth and it just melts. That feta offers that pungent, salty, acidic note and has made for a nice cream to form in between the folds of the spinach. I can't forget that little hint of spice that comes around the corner from the red chili flakes. It's perfect. The flavors balanced between sweet, salty, earthy, and spicy!
Strong to the finish
As I was writing this I kept hearing this jingle in my head: "I'm strong to the finish 'cause I eats me spinach, I'm Popeye the Sailorman! Tout! Tout!" Now I have dated myself. I loved that show!
What's memorable is that I had no thoughts of is this dish good, will people like it, I hope they try it! I just allowed myself to be lost in the moment feeling each ingredient as they were introduced and watching it come together and balance itself out! Inside I feel free, clam, and my tummy is saying yesssssss! I guess this is the space between thoughts, a place where peace lies. Who knows, it feels so so good!
I will be sharing more of these recipes in the future so if you like, stay tuned!