From 2006 to 2011 the crop acrage where spinach is grown in the Greenbelt increased by 30.6%, but in the rest of Ontario spianch crop acrage decreased by 31.3%! Currently, 27.7% of the spinach grown in Ontario is produced in the Greenbelt, and this is great news because we can continue to enjoy delicious local spinach for generations to come.
This past weekend I visited my favourite farm near my house, and I was very happy to notice that they had beautiful vibrant local spinach for sale. I bought three bunches and made my grandmother’s delicious garlicy spinach puree that I used to eat in little cups with a spoon. This was one of my favourite dishes when I was little, I would just play in her garden while eating garlicky spinach puree from a cup. It was delicious!
When I saw this spinach I just had to buy it to make my grandmothers spinach recipe! You can try this recipe at home.
Don’t forget you can find fresh local spinach grown in Ontario’s protected Greenbelt here.
Spinach and Egg Recipe
2 portions, takes about 45 minutes
2 Bunches of Spinach (the kind you get at the farmers market or farm)
1 tablespoon of Flour
2 tablespoons Oil + enough Oil to cover the bottom of a pan
½ cup Milk
3 Garlic Cloves
Salt and Pepper
Wash the spinach in plenty of water to ensure that the dirt is removed! Steam the spinach over boiling water; you don’t want the spinach to be immersed in water since you lose vitamins and minerals found in spinach in the water. I usually use a metal colander that has little legs at the bottom; this allows the spinach to hover above the boiling water. The spinach will begin to steam and lose its shape in a few minutes after you close the lid. I generally do this in batches because spinach takes up a lot of space.
Once all the spinach has been steamed, place in a bowl and blend. In a pot, add two tablespoons of oil, minced garlic, and flour. Stir the ingredients together over medium heat, until the flour and garlic begin to turn slight caramelized and fragrant. Once the caramelization starts, add the milk and stir to incorporate the milk with the flour mixture until all the lumps have dissolved. As soon as the milk mixture begins to boil and slightly thicken, add the blended spinach. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Taste the spinach to make sure the desired salt level is reached - not enough salt can really ruin this dish! Boil the spinach for 5 minutes, and make sure you stir continually on medium heat. Be careful because the spinach splashes boiling spinach bits on you if you don’t stir continually.
After the spinach is boiled, remove from heat and cover with a lid. Add oil to cover the bottom of a pan. As soon as the oil begins to boil, crack an egg to make sunny side up eggs. Cook the eggs as long as you prefer, I don’t enjoy runny eggs so I cook my eggs for 4 minutes on medium and then I turn then over for 2 more minutes.
Divide the spinach and eggs on two plates and enjoy!
– Andreea Nicoara