If you’re craving a bit more earthiness in your Easter side dishes, the richness of a dish like creamed spinach may not fit the bill.
Perhaps, Portugal’s “Esparregado de Espinafres” (spinach mousse) is the key with a balance of velvety textures and earthy notes. The dish offers up layers of flavor without masking the essence of the greens. At its peak in springtime, spinach is an ideal choice for Easter.
But don’t stop at spinach. How about chard (nabiça)? The Portuguese are huge fans of these leafy greens and throw them into soups, or into their “Esparregado.” Summertime is when these babies start to bloom!
- 3 bushels of spinach (or chard)
- 6 garlic cloves
- 4 bay leaves
- Olive oil
- Vinegar (optional)
- Black pepper
- Boil the greens in salted water (to taste) until fork tender.
- In the meantime, grab a large bowl and fill it with ice water. Once the greens are cooked, drain and drop them into the bowl to stop the cooking process. Squeeze out excess liquid, give it a coarse chop and set aside.
- In a deep skillet, sauté the minced garlic and bay leaves in olive oil on low heat until golden, don’t burn. Remove the bay leaves and add the greens, stir and gradually add a handful of flour. Allow the mixture to homogenize. Keep covered and warm until ready to serve.
- Place red wine vinegar and black pepper on the table for anyone who would like to add to their serving.