- half a 250g pack unsalted butter
- 3 x 400g bags washed and prepared leaf spinach (not baby)
Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…
- a few grindlings of nutmeg
- 2 tbsp salted capers, rinsed and roughly chopped
Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub, which grows in the Mediterranean. As…
First clarify the butter (to remove impurities so it can be heated without burning): put the butter in a saucepan on a low-medium heat until it starts to bubble, then remove from the heat. Once the cloud of sediment has settled, carefully pour off the golden liquid.
Although the bags say ‘washed and prepared’, large-leafed spinach usually needs a wash, as well as a check to remove any damaged leaves or tough stalks. Before you go on, have a large bowl, a spider (see tip below) and two colanders to hand, as well as a sink of cold water.
Bring a huge saucepan of salted water to the boil. Stuff in about 250g/9oz spinach and leave for 30-45 seconds until just wilted, then scoop leaves into the bowl, draining off as much water as possible. Tip the spinach into a colander and plunge it into the sink. Swish the leaves until cool, then drain in the other colander. Repeat until all the spinach has been blanched.
Use your hands to squeeze as much water as possible from the spinach, then pile it onto a clean, threadbare tea towel (in two batches, if necessary). Twist the ends and squeeze out the rest of the water.
Put a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the clarified butter. Heat until light golden, then add black pepper and nutmeg. After about a minute, when it is gingerbread-coloured and smells nutty, add the spinach and capers and season. Lower the heat and toss the leaves until warmed through. Serve immediately.
Getting aheadBlanch the spinach up to 24 hours ahead, drain and dry it, then refrigerate. Bring it to room temperature before proceeding. The butter can be clarified up to 2 weeks in advance and kept refrigerated.
What's a 'Spider'?This is a wire-mesh shallow ladle with a long handle that Chinese chefs use to fling food in and out of woks. You can use it in this instance for scooping spinach out of the water.