Sautéed Spinach with Onions & Garlic Confit

OK, first off, I love sautéed greens—let’s just get that out of the way. I look like a meat and potatos guy but when left to my own devices, I admit it, I’ve got a couple cloves of roasted garlic and some diced shallots or onions in the pan, a little unsalted butter and garlicky olive oil and I’m rinsing the spinach.

So, my wife L is coming home late, I’m hungry and reading the Cooking Journey food blog and Shayla has made some sautéed greens with shallots and it looks so good—and green, so very, very green. I think, yeah, I’ll have some of that. I had the garlic cloves minced and in the pan with the onions and the bunch of organic spinach glistening emerald before I remembered I had the Fine Cooking issue that she used (December 2006, on the back flap). So as I was sitting down with my big bowl of green garlicky goodness, enjoying that scratchy teeth feel you get, I scanned the recipe. I don’t know if I could give up the garlic cloves in place of the coriander and red pepper (although L might like me to). I prefer a much simpler and less spicy dish (not spicy hot, but spicy complicated), I like the peppery flavour of the spinach mixed with the warmth of the onion and garlic, and just a pinch of Fleur de Sel.


This also works well with other greens, I particularly like it with rapini.

1 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup finely diced onion (or shallots)
2 cloves minced roasted garlic (Garlic Confit - recipe follows)
1 tbsp garlic oil (again, recipe follows)
1 bunch fresh organic spinach (thoroughly washed), longer, tough stems removed and discarded (I save all veggie cuttings in the freezer for stock).

In a big fry pan stir the butter, oil, garlic and onion over medium heat until the onion is soft. Add the spinach. Cook spinach (I read a recipe recently that suggets while cooking the spinach you should be “stirring furiously,” I prefer “calmly” using tongs to turn the greens around so everything gets shiny and coated), cover and stir every now and then for a few minutes or until the spinach is wilted but still bright green. Plate and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

serves: me

N.B. - I have no idea where I originally came across my garlic confit recipe but it is so easy, as you’ll see, that I just do it when I have some surplus garlic.


This is a great pantry staple. I use the garlic oil to brush on garlic bread, or to pour in the pan with butter for sautéed spinach or even eggs, home fries. The roasted cloves can be scraped across toast to liven up a sandwich or used together with fresh garlic to give a more complicated taste profile (ooo, listen to the boy, I mean it tastes really good). All in all, I could not live without this stuff. You could try putting fresh thyme sprigs while roasting, I read that Thomas Keller does that in his Bouchon cookbook.

peeled garlic cloves
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350° F / 175° C / Gas Mark 4. Half fill an oven proof dish with the garlic cloves and cover completely with the olive oil. Bake in oven for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the cloves are tender and golden. Put on your counter and let cool, uncovered, until it reaches room temperature. You can keep it for up to a month in an airtight container (we use it up well before then).


Anonymous said...

Great idea!
I'm heading to kichen to peel garlic :)

Paul said...

Thanks, Margot. I'm glad it piqued your hunger.

Anonymous said...

I'm just washing my spinach! :D