Packed with vitamins K, A, and C, dietary fiber, iron, and even protein–among a long list of other vitamins and minerals–, spinach is one of the healthiest greens one can eat and thus has a privileged place in my freezer. Although I love it fresh in salads (really the healthiest way to eat it), creamed spinach is by far my favorite and how it most often ends up on my table. This simple preparation is quick, easy, and a great side dish with rice or mashed potatoes. If you don’t have access to Vegeta (a Croatian spice that is found in almost any Central or Eastern European shop, plus increasingly in regular supermarkets), you can simply substitute salt and pepper.
- 450g of frozen spinach or fresh
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- Vegeta (optional)
First prepare the spinach by either defrosting the frozen in the microwave or boiling the fresh for about a minute. Drain and set aside.
Next, sauté the onion in a bit of oil on the stove. Once they are nice and caramelized, add the flour to make zaprška or what the French call roux. (Zaprška is basically flour browned in either oil or butter and used as a thickener for dishes such as these and soups.) Add the spinach and a little milk, maybe about a 1/4 cup, stirring as you do so. Sprinkle a bit of Vegeta (or salt and pepper) and continue to cook, stirring frequently and adding additional milk, if necessary, so that the dish is creamy and not too runny or dry. Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
As this cooks pretty quickly, I usually turn the heat off after about 5 minutes, but leave the spinach on the stove so that it keeps warm (I have induction) while I finish up the rest of the meal.