Pureed Spinach

I hesitate to call this creamed spinach, since there’s no cream in it–however–it is every bit as rich and satisfying as creamed spinach.  Instead of cream or bechamel, I’ve substituted olive oil (admittedly a copious amount) and chicken broth.  In addition there are two types of grated cheese and some chopped chives.  These ingredients, in the right proportion (I’ve experimented extensively with the proportions) provide just the right amount of richness and lightness.

The beauty of this dish is that it can be made entirely ahead and reheated in a skillet with a touch of broth, or in the microwave (one of the few times I’ll recommend it).  If you’re preparing something on the grill that requires last-minute attention, you can pop this in the microwave to reheat during those last few minutes prior to serving dinner.  It also holds beautifully in the fridge and can act as a pesto of sorts, when tossed with some just-cooked pasta.

Pureed Spinach

serves 4

4 10-oz. bags of fresh spinach

1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 c grated parmiggiano

1/4 c grated pecorino

1- 1/2 c chicken broth

1/4 c fresh chopped chives

1 – 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

Blanch spinach in heavily salted water for about a minute (work in batches so as not to overcrowd the pot or else it will take the water too long to return to the boil, resulting in overcooked spinach).  Shock each back in cold water as it comes out of the boiling water.  In small bundles, squeeze the spinach well and set aside.

Working in 2 batches, in food processor, combine half of the remainder of the ingredients and process until the mixture forms a coarse puree.

Reheat on low heat in a skillet with a few tablespoons of broth or in microwave.  May be made in advance (even a day in advance) and refrigerated.

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