- 2 pounds fresh spinach
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lemon, quartered (optional)
- Remove the stems from the spinach leaves. Discard any leaves that are discolored or tough. Soak the spinach in a large bowl of cold water, stirring to dislodge sand and grit. Change the water at least three times to ensure that the spinach is absolutely clean. (With each change of water, lift the spinach out of the bowl with your hands rather than draining the water into a colander. That way you won't pour the sandy water back onto the spinach.) Thoroughly dry the spinach in a salad spinner or on absorbent towels.
- Spear the clove of garlic with the prongs of a dinner fork. Over a high flame, heat the olive oil in a skillet or saucepan large enough to accommodate all the spinach. Add the spinach and stir quickly and constantly with the garlic-stuck fork. Continue to cook until the spinach is wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper just as the spinach begins to wilt. Cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes more until the spinach is tender. Serve either hot, or at room temperature, in the Italian style. Serve with a generous squeeze of lemon at the last moment.
NotesThe quick-stir method of cooking spinach allows the spinach to keep its bright green color and flavor. You’ll fine our trick of stirring with a fork and garlic clove to be a simple and quick way to give potent garlic flavor to spinach and other greens. Enjoy the spinach with veal chops, steak, chicken, or lamb. It also goes well with legumes and grains. If you have leftovers, you can chop them and make a sandwich on good bread with olive oil and fresh mozzarella.