Monday, October 13, 2008

Calling All Popeyes: Two Spinach Recipes

A dear reader asked for a spinach recipe from Eat This...It'll Make You Feel Better! -- I couldn't decide between two such recipes, so will post both.
Mamma's Spinach and Potatoes in Broth

I don't know why it took me a long time to appreciate this terrific dish of my mother's. Spinach never had it so good!

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup water
4 medium potatoes, peeled, quartered, and parboiled
2 pounds spinach, well washed

Place oil in a large saucepan and gently brown garlic. To the pot add chicken broth, water, and the potatoes. Add spinach. Cover and cook 15 minutes. You'll notice spinach has collaped to almost nothing.

This is a soupy mixture but the garlic, potatoes, and spinach mingle together and you won't want to leave a drop of this behind. Just have plenty of hot Italian bread around so you can get it all.

Serves 4.

This sounds a lot like the caldo I devoured all along the pilgrim trail to Santiago last August. Mmmm, potatoes and greens and broth! Simple, hearty, tasty. I also like that it's 4 potatoes for 4 people; our family's potato soup is measured that way - one potato per person. I'm sure if you wanted to scale up this recipe for more people, it'd be a spud a body.

But, let's say you're not in the mood for a soup, brothy, soppy wonder. (It could happen.) What else can Dom DeLuise's mamma suggest to use up that spinach?
Mamma's Spinach Rolls

When anybody is working with flour and dough, it's always fascinating to children. I remember when I was a little kid, with my nose just above the counter, I used to love to watch my mother lovingly roll out the dough. Then Mamma would let me climb on a chair so I could roll out y own. I remember how proud and excited I was when my spinach roll came out of the oven. I recently taught my seventeen-year-old son, Michael, how to make this, and I guess he wasn't too old to get into this terrific dish because he ate the whole thing for dinner!

Pizza Dough (page 207)
1 pound fresh spinach, washed, drained, and coarsely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
grated cheese
pinch of red pepper
olive oil
1 egg, beaten

Roll out pizza dough into a thin rectangle and place on greased cookie sheet. Spread chopped spinach evenly over dough. Sprinkle with chopped onion, cheese and pepper. Drizzle olive oil over, then gently roll dough jellyroll fashion, making sure the seam is on the bottom. Shape into a crescent.

Using a fork, poke 8-10 holes in the dough so it can "breathe," and brush roll with beaten egg. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Slice and serve hot or cold as an appetizer, or with a salad, for a delicious, healthful light meal.

Serves 4-6.

Variation: Substitute 2 cups chopped broccoli and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella for spinach.

...oh, yes. It's not noodles, but... oh, YES. Bread, cheese, spinach? What's not to love?

I never quite got the whole "kids hate spinach" trope. I've loved spinach since I was a baby. I love it fresh. I love it cooked. I love it after it's been frozen. I even love it after it's been canned. Spinach, spinach, spinach! Also, "bacon, bacon, bacon!" Even better, "spinach and bacon, spinach and bacon, spinach and bacon!" In fact, I wouldn't turn up my nose at adding crumbled bacon into this spinach roll (though it de-vegetarianizes the dish).

If anyone needs a pizza dough recipe, I can post the one from Eat This...It'll Make You Feel Better! -- or you can use frozen (and defrosted) pizza dough from the market. Better than that, though, at just one step down from making your own -- see if the local pizza place will sell you some fresh dough.

Like DeLuise, I have fond memories of dough-making endeavors with my family. My dad would let me help knead bread and pizza dough, by making monster faces and then pounding them away. He'd wash the kitchen floor, and then I'd use the floor as my work surface, covered in flour. Good times.


  1. Love the spinach bread! If I am making it vegetarian, I spice up the spinach with crushed red pepper, a parm or romano, and lots of garlic. If I am adding bacon, I'll caramelize the onions and be sure to squeeze a little lemon when drizzling the olive oil. So good!

  2. And this is why I love Melanie. Mmmm, bacon and caramelized onions and spinach and lemon!

  3. Michael DeLuise. At 17. Cooking.


  4. Kelly, is that a request for Michael's ________________? (There are a lot of recipes that Dom DeLuise links with Michael.)

  5. Thanks for the spinach roll recipe. I can't find my cookbook of Dom's as we are painting our house, and all things have been moved. Tomorrow, I am hosting a dinner for a good friend. I'm making my ziti and Dom's spinach roll. Couldn't find it till this blog! Amen!

    Shelley in Texas

  6. Shelley, I'm glad this was helpful! Let me know if you need any other recipes from the book.