- 2 pounds bunch spinach or two 10-ounce cellophane packages spinach
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- Freshly ground pepper
Wash the spinach but don’t dry them completely. The water that clings to the leaves will steam the spinach as it cooks.
Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy skillet over medium heat. Whack the garlic cloves with the side of a knife and toss them into the oil. Cook, shaking the pan, until golden, about 2 minutes. Scatter the spinach a large handful at a time into the pan, waiting until each batch wilts before adding another. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cover the pan. Cook until the spinach begins to release its liquid. Uncover the pan and cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted and its water has evaporated, 1 to 3 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if you like. Serve hot.
VARIATION: Spinach Sautéed with Breadcrumbs:
Adding a little dry breadcrumbs to the pan near the end of cooking is a traditional Istrian way to prepare spinach. Breadcrumbs not only add flavor but also absorb some of the liquid that the spinach gives off, making the spinach neater if you’re putting it on the same plate with something like the Sole Meuniere on page 000. Prepare the sautéed spinach as described above, sprinkling 2 to 3 tablespoons of fine, dry breadcrumbs over it just before removing it from the heat.