Parmesan Spinach is an easy side dish

Parmesan spinach
Parmesan Spinach ingredients

Parmesan Spinach

When your cousin or sister says, “bring a veggie” to the family gathering, here’s an easy recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh spinach
  • 8oz Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

The steps

Parmesan Spinach
Wilting fresh spinach in hot water
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F
  2. Heat water in a 3-5 quart pot. It should be hot to the touch, but not boiling
  3. Put spinach in pot for 1-3 minutes, until wilted but not mushy. This will take several shifts. Look at how big that bag of spinach is. Grab a handful of the fresh spinach, and put it in the water. Push it down with a spoon or spatula, and add more. You don’t want to leave the spinach in too long. By the time you get the pot full, it’ll be time to dump it all.
  4. Empty the pot into a colander. When the water drains, put the spinach in a bowl.
  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you’ve wilted the full two pounds of spinach.
  6. Add the EVOO to the spinach in the bowl, mixing thoroughly.
  7. Sprinkle in the cheese. Mix thoroughly, coating all the spinach with cheese.
  8. Spread the spinach into a 9″ baking dish.
  9. Place in 350F oven for 15-20 minutes.

Serves 6-8

Buying local

I bought the ingredients at my local grocery, Zuppardo’s Family Supermarket, in Metairie. It’s easy to carry this dish a few steps further on the freshness scale by buying spinach at a local farmers market or greengrocer, if they’re nearby. While this dish scored points with my niece (who loved that there was green stuff for her 3yo and 1yo daughters) at Christmas Dinner, the sourcing certainly can improve. Still, because we get busy, grabbing a couple of bags of spinach from the supermarket produce section isn’t a bad thing. I won’t judge you for it.

One of my New Year’s goals is to buy more from farmers markets. The Crescent City Farmers Market offers numerous opportunities weekly, in different neighborhoods. Locally sourced fresh veggies!

Zuppardo’s sells coarsely and finely grated Parmesan and Romano. While the coarse grating is good for, say, pizza or other Italian-style dishes, I prefer the finely-grated cheese for this dish. The spinach is chewy on its own. The cheese is there for flavor. So, the fine grating keeps it from being too stringy.

Simple dishes enable you to have fun at family events. Prepare this veggie the day before and stick it in the fridge. Heat it up just before leaving for the gathering. Because it’s this basic, you can even heat it up when you arrive.

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