70 Things To Do With Fresh Spinach

Fresh spinach is in season right now, and I got a huge bag of it from my favorite grower, so I’ve been looking for great ways to use it. I naturally turned to Twitter and Facebook to hear about your favorite spinach dishes, and I thought I’d share the master list. Thank you all for your inspired suggestions!

Spinach pairings

– Spinach + garlic
– Spinach + cheese (especially fresh goat cheese, feta, ricotta)
– Spinach + sesame
– Spinach + eggs
– Spinach + cream
– Spinach + pasta
– Spinach + mushrooms
– Spinach + potatoes
– Spinach + nutmeg
– Spinach + lentils
– Spinach + raisins
– Spinach + bacon
– Spinach + fish
– Spinach + anchovies
– Spinach + rice
– Spinach + lemon

Sautéed spinach

– Sautéed in butter
– Wilted in a pan with slivers of garlic (lots of it).
– Simply sauté with olive oil, sliced garlic and lemon juice.
– Spinaci alla romana, with pine nuts, garlic, and sultanas
– Toss in a hot skillet with garlic, olive oil, salt. Cover, remove from heat, wilt 5 min. Leftovers can be mixed into fromage blanc.
– Chop up spinach, sauté in sesame oil, and serve with quinoa or rice, and tofu baked with miso or soy sauce.
– Stir-fry quickly with garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, and a dash of soy sauce.
– Sautéed in a skillet with rice vinegar, a drizzle of sesame oil, toasted black sesame, and fresh ginger, Japanese-style.
One-pot spinach and quinoa pilaf

Spinach in baked dishes

– Spinach quiche, with leeks and gruyère
– Spinach and potato quiche with feta cheese
– Spinach tart or pie, with fresh goat cheese or camembert
– In a phyllo pie with feta, à la spanakopita
Torta pasqualina (Spinach and ricotta Easter pie)
– Spinach and ricotta lasagna
– Spinach pirojki
– Spinach börek

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April 2014 Desktop Calendar

At the beginning of every month in 2014, I will be offering a new wallpaper to apply on the desktop of your computer, with a food-related picture and a calendar of the current month.

As a new feature this year, the desktop calendar is available in two versions: a US-friendly version that features Sunday as the first day of the week, and a French version (shown above) that complies with international standards, featuring Monday as the first day of the week.

Our calendar for April is a picture of the springtime pot-au-feu I am gearing up to make now that the first spring vegetables are appearing on market stalls.

Instructions to get your calendar are below.

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March Favorites

Gluten-free and organic cookies by Belgian company Generous.

Gluten-free and organic cookies by Belgian company Generous.

A few of my favorite finds and reads for March:

~ A vegetarian’s alphabet.

~ Absolutely delicious gluten-free and organic cookies from Belgium, with irresistible packaging as a bonus. I have a special weakness for Charlotte Chocolat and Céline Citron.

~ What can you eat for 10€ (that’s about $14) in Paris?

~ Networking is for everyone.

~ Taste testing for the best lemon tarts in Paris.

~ How is it that honey keeps forever?

~ Looking forward to Superbarquette, a street food festival at Paris’ Wanderlust April 11 to 13.

~ The 30-second habit with a lifelong impact.

~ Cannot wait for strawberry season to commence in earnest so I can make this meringue roulade.

~ Eating beef in Paris.

~ A guide to Paris’ best coffee shops.

~ A tour of British accents in a minute and a half.

Any favorites of your own to share this month?

Cherry Clafoutis with Chestnut Flour

I attended the Omnivore festival in Paris last week, a fabulous three-day event during which inspiring chefs climb up on stage to demo dishes and talk about their cuisine, and the sentiment that was expressed by several of them mirrors my own: we are currently going through the toughest time of year for the produce-oriented cook.

It no longer feels like winter, and certainly we’ve had our share of cold-weather vegetables, but spring is not quite there, and the bounty it promises has yet to be delivered. We are stuck in this limbo of non-season, having to make do with what’s left of the winter months — which isn’t actually very much — as we dream of pea shoots and strawberries.

Recently, this limbo of non-season has made me pine for — of all things — cherry clafoutis.

Fruit is especially hard. The apples and pears are all from storage, and the citrus is a wan version of itself — all pith and little flavor — so we’re mostly left with exotic or frozen fruit.

Recently, this state of affair has made me pine for cherry clafoutis, and more specifically this clafoutis, which I’ve had bookmarked for seven years, ever since it was first published. I planned to make it with frozen sour cherries, which can be easily procured from the all-frozen-foods grocery store the French love so.

It is a slightly unorthodox clafoutis, in that the egg whites are whipped to create a mouthfeel that is moist and fluffy, rather than the more classic, flan-like texture. It is delicious.

Instead of using regular wheat flour, I chose to make my clafoutis with the chestnut flour I brought back from Corsica. I intuited that it would go well with the flavor of the cherries, much like hazelnut flour flattered them in this loaf cake; I am happy to report my intuition was spot-on.

As for the cherry pits, it is up to you to keep them in or out: tradition leaves the cherries unpitted — supposedly this adds a hint of almond flavor — but having to maneuver the pits around your mouth can be a severe hindrance to your enjoyment, and certainly if you’re serving this to young children, the pits need to go. (The frozen sour cherries I used are already pitted, so that was that.)

Join the conversation!

Are you experiencing the same lull in seasons where you live? How do you deal with it? And do you ever make clafoutis ?

Cherry Clafoutis with Chestnut Flour

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Cauliflower Salad à la Café Pinson

Café Pinson is one of Paris’ most delicious lunch spots for vegetable lovers. Co-founded by Agathe Audouze and driven by her interest in naturopathy and personal history with food intolerances, it focuses on fresh, seasonal, and healthful foods, with no dairy ingredients and (mostly) no gluten, whole grains and unrefined sweeteners, and low-temperature cooking to preserve nutrients.

It doesn’t hurt that the interior design was created by Dorothée Meilichzon, who excels at putting together inviting and cozy spaces, with mismatched vintage-style furniture and whimsical details that seem right out of a Pinterest board.

So hungry are Parisians for that kind of food that it took about a week for the crowds to descend upon Café Pinson.

So hungry are Parisians for that kind of food in a non-granola environment that it took about a week for the crowds to descend upon the original location in the upper Marais. This success led to the opening of a second Café Pinson, this one in the super hot Faubourg Poissonnière neighborhood, where a new exciting spot sprout up every minute and a half.

I was recently invited to have lunch there with Agathe Audouze herself to sample some of the menu offerings, and among them I was particularly taken with the romanesco salad. I’m sure you’ve seen that fractal cabbage, light-green to yellow in hue, and handled in cooking much like cauliflower. Here, it was served cold, dressed in a vegan mayonnaise that was tahini-based, as Agathe explained, and topped with a happy sprinkle of brown flax seeds.

It was tangy and rich, a most appealing way of eating Brassicaceae. I noted the idea in my head and promptly reproduced it, not with romanesco but with cauliflower, which I had on hand. It was just as lovely in a home context as at the café, and I am adding it to my cauliflower repertoire, along with my other love-it-to-death favorite, the Cauliflower à la Mary Celeste.

Join the conversation!

Do you make cauliflower salads? What’s your favorite way of dressing them? And have you ever tried romanesco?

Café Pinson
6 rue du forez, Paris 3ème // +33 (0)9 83 82 53 53 // map
58 rue du faubourg poissonnière, Paris 10ème // +33 (0)1 45 23 59 42 // map

The original romanesco salad at Café Pinson.

The original romanesco salad at Café Pinson.

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