Thursday, June 4, 2015

Until The Spinach Weeps

One of my favorite books, right now, is Ripe (and a bunch of other descriptive title words).  Not only are the pictures simply gorgeous, the "schtick" is a clever one: organize a bunch of fruits and vegetables by the color of the rainbow and present a couple of recipes/ideas for each.  Oh yeah, and let's be clever and cute in the writing of each as well.

I've had success with several of the recipes in the book (others require tweaking, natch).  This morning, it was time for the Spinach and Smoked Gouda Frittata with Tomatoes for breakfast.  The instruction read simple: sauté onions, wilt spinach, add eggs, cream, seasoning, cheese, tomatoes, cook in skillet, finish under broiler until set.  Blah blah blah.  Yes yes yes.

But, there was a funny little sentence in there...turn spinach with tongs to wilt...crank the heat and sauté for 5 minutes, until the spinach weeps...moisture evaporates.  Until the spinach weeps?  I suppose it makes sense, after all, the spinach is under a lot of duress in the hot skillet, so weeping would be the natural response.  That, or shrieking.

As poor planning would have it, I did not have spinach available to me this morning.  But like that stops me!  Instead, I made substitutions, along with some kale from the home garden:

A delicious new hybrid of kale and Brussels Sprouts!  A superhero food!
Procured at the Des Moines Farmers' Market.
In case you were wondering, Kale, Kalettes, and Wild Nettles are the far less-wussier cousins of Spinach.  Kale does not go quietly into the good night, as it were, and stoop to weeping.  It wilts gradually with a certain modicum of integrity.  The Kalettes, being, like, the Captain America of the group, stand proudly in the hot, buttery skillet, and dares you to crank up the heat some more.  The nettles just hang out awhile before going the way of kale.

And in the end, after all that, I ended up with this:

The original recipe called with four eggs and four cups of spinach leaves.  Anyone who's cooked spinach knows it reduces quite a bit in volume...and since I used greens that did not reduce as much, I doubled the amount of eggs to get that filled feeling.

Another side note, let this dish set out for about five minutes before cutting.  Then, it sets up nicely and cuts quite an attractive figure on your plate in its elegant wedge form.  This is a whole lot more desirable to being so excited to cut it right away and eat it and ending up with a colorful, blobby mess (albeit a delicious one) on your plate.

Incidentally, though, in related news, this fritatta heats up VERY WELL for lunch and is excellent with some about-to-expire Taco Bell taco sauce (another story for another time).

So, hahahaha, who's weeping now?!

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