If you have been to a farmers market lately, you’ll notice the seemingly permanent proliferation of greens everywhere. The sea of green barely shows another colored vegetable.
Cabbage, mustard greens, spinach, green onions, Brussels sprouts, cilantro, lettuces, kohlrabi and then there’s the lonely carrots and radishes that pop with color on the table. Due to the recent consecutive days of freezing temperatures in South Texas, the fields were also frozen, so whatever is left is the hardy stuff.
But have no fear, as the farmers are busy preparing for the spring and summer crops. According to Becky and BJ Markley of Markley Family Farm in New Braunfels, Texas, this week they are planting the following: lettuce, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, Swiss chard, bok choy, radishes, beets, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, green beans as well as herbs. They also planted approximately 500 additional blackberry plants and 90 peach trees and I can almost taste that peach.
While we all may have eaten our weight in greens this year, or at least I have, I decided I had to change up my sauteed spinach a bit for fear of never wanting to eat it again. So I combined my recent affinity for mushrooms and added some onions, garlic and a little Parm to the spinach and that did it.
Something as simple as adding a few ingredients to your old favorite recipe makes it magically transform into a completely new dish. Serve this spinach medley with a grass-fed grilled steak and you’ll swear you’re dining in a steakhouse. Sans the big bill, heavy belly and carb overload.
Sauteed Spinach with Mushrooms, Onions, Garlic and Parmesan
Super simple to make, yet it's hearty enough to not need a carb with the meal. Alternatively, if you're not serving meat, perhaps a baked sweet potato would be a viable option. Served with meat or not, this is a stand alone side dish that will be approved by carnivores and vegetarians.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and more as needed
- 1/2 yellow onion sliced
- 1/3 lb. assorted mushrooms white button, cremini, shitake, etc., wiped off well, stems removed and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 1/2 bags of fresh spinach leaves or two bunches washed and dried well
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan optional, omit if vegan
- Several dashes of Kosher or sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
In a large saute pan over medium high heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the sliced onions and stir to coat. Sprinkle a dash of salt over the onions to extract the water. Allow to saute for 3 minutes or so, until they become softened.
Add the sliced mushrooms and, if needed, add a little more olive oil to coat the pan. Sprinkle another dash of salt over the mushrooms to bring out the liquid and stir to combine, cooking for about 3-5 minutes or until they are softened. Add the garlic and toss to coat, cooking for another minute.
Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.
Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan over medium heat and let it get hot. Now you can add the spinach, but make sure the spinach leaves are not watery or lest you'll have a watery broth, which you definitely do not want! Sprinkle a little salt over the leaves, stirring to combine.
The spinach will begin to wilt within a few minutes, so stir frequently and when the leaves are wilted to your desired doneness, stir in the mushrooms, onions and garlic and cook for 1 more minute or until everything is heated through.
Top with grated Parmesan and serve immediately with grilled meat (or not) and a glass of red wine.