Wilted Spinach

Several years ago, when I was training for my first marathon, I decided to see a nutritionist. After all, I was vegan and running more than I’d ever run in my life. I wanted to make sure that I was eating well. My first homework assignment was to write down everything I ate for a week. I remember two things she said after reading my list: one, replace my rice dishes with quinoa; and two, this recipe was a great one, nutritionally.

This is actually my mom’s recipe, one that we ate a lot as kids. It’s tasty and makes a great side dish. Not only that, but (according to my nutritionist) the lemon juice helps with iron absorption. That means that the combo of the lemon juice and the spinach are a one-two punch for anyone needing iron in their diet.

But forget about nutrition for a minute: let’s talk taste. This is a warm, fresh-tasting dish. The sweet, earthy taste of the spinach is balanced by the tart lemon juice, and complemented by salt. All in all, a great combination. No one will believe how easy this is to make.

I’ve never tried this with frozen spinach, though I’m sure it could be done; my advice would be to thaw and thoroughly drain the frozen spinach if you’re going that direction. My guess is that it will take less time on the stove, too.

If you’ve never wilted spinach before, be aware that the leaves cook down: four cups of fresh spinach will equal about one cup of wilted spinach. The trick is to wilt just until the leaves cook down and turn bright green, usually about five minutes. It’s so quick and easy that it makes a fabulous accompaniment anytime that you’re running short on time and need something to round out the dinner plate.

Simple. Delicious. A perfect, stress-free side dish.