ffwd: lemon-steamed spinach

Big Bowl of Spinach

Sigh… Though I don’t like to be negative, I have to admit I’ve had a lapse in faith with French Fridays with Dorie this month. When I think back, March did start on a high note with the chicken diable, but the rest of the month has been fallen between ho-hum and downright detestable. It’s been a bit frustrating. Fortunately, I found the last recipe for March, Lemon-Steamed Spinach, a little more encouraging.

This recipe was more of the idea of a technique than a real recipe. You start with baby spinach, and toss it with olive oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Then, you steam the seasoned spinach until it’s tender. That’s it.



I’m always amazed how much spinach shrinks down when you cook it. In fact, this recipe starts with A LOT of spinach: 20 ounces. Of course, I knew it would shrink down to just a bowlful, but to start with, it was too much to toss in even my largest bowl. I really should have done the prep work in two batches. Because I have a (seldom used) pot with a (seldom used) pasta insert, I followed Dorie’s suggestion and used it. Again, with this volume of greens, I had to pack it into the pot. Rather than the suggested 3 minutes, it took 9 minutes for the steam to penetrate the green leafy mass and wilt it into tenderness.



In the end, the spinach was tasty. I like how it starts out pre-seasoned and is done when it’s done.

For our dinner, the spinach accompanied roasted sea scallops and Israeli couscous cooked with sun-dried tomatoes and olives. It was a delicious meal!

Spinach Dinner

You can find this recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. If you want to read other bloggers’ thoughts about this simple spinach preparation, follow their links here.

I sure am hoping to enjoy April’s recipes more than March’s.


Posted on 29 March 2013, in French Fridays with Dorie and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Mmmmm…what a marvelous meal! My hubby bought the spinach for me..and was shocked that I needed 4 big carton’s worth :)

  2. You did a great job on the whole plate Betsy! How much it shrinks is ridiculous, I know. Have a good weekend!

  3. I like your hands :-)
    Spinach reduction is CR-AZY – I started with two big puffy bags of spinach and ended up with a couple of handfuls.
    I hope April works out better for you. I have definitely had some of those months with FFwD (most of January and that month where we did the salmon in a jar – ugh). Hang in there & hope you have a great weekend.

  4. It really is amazing how spinach reduces!!! Loved how tasty this was! Have a great weekend.

  5. Your whole dinner sounds excellent. It’s making me hungry for lunch….I just tossed my spinach the best I could in my giant steamer, before setting it over the boiling water. It seemed to work fine, and I thought my husband would appreciate having one fewer dish to wash.

  6. I agree, the recipes have not been too fab lately, but this was so easy & delicious!

    Thank you for rescuing our FFWD group & for all the work you do. I’m one of 3 admins for the Baked Sunday Mornings group, so I know how much work & coordination goes into it.

    Wishing you a wonderful Easter full of blessings!

  7. I love this spinach – you’re right, it’s done when it’s done! I love the idea of serving it with scallops! Sounds (and looks!) like a wonderful meal!

  8. This was easy and very delicious with the lemon. I like the look of the couscous with
    the sun-dried tomato. Have a happy Easter.

  9. Spinach does shrink down a lot. This was a simple and easy dish to prepare. Have a Happy Easter.

  10. I’m sorry to hear that it was such a disappointing month. I think April looks promising, though.

    It’s hard to go wrong with lemon and spinach, so I expect this dish will have been a hit for most of us. It tickles me that a bunch of spinach can make a very large salad or a very small side dish, depending on preparation.

  11. I think that there are some recipes that no one has voted for and eventually we must cook them all. I am already uncertain about olives and sugar in the same batter.

  12. Done when its done is good! April looks promising so lets keep our fingers crossed. Happy Easter to you and yours Betsy!

  13. Your entire meal looks great! I am glad you liked this recipe better than some others this month. I love your hand shaped salad servers. Hope you had a Happy Easter!

  14. March is my least favorite month of the year and I think that sometimes colors my opinion of the recipes. I looked back and noticed that I didn’t really love the 2012 line-up either. I too am looking forward to April and, if it’s not too much to ask, a little warm weather.

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