Perpetual spinach, caramelized onions & fried polenta

The spinach came from the farmer's market. It was called "perpetual spinach" and billed as being similar to chard. The leaves are huge. Here they are in my sink for scale:

I made up a small batch of polenta last night and let it harden on a buttered plate. I just needed one more thing--some fresh farmstand onions to caramelize.

Now I'm ready!

  • about a dozen (or more) small white onions
  • big bunch of spinach or chard
  • 4 T butter
  • polenta that you've made & hardened in advance (my recipe was a fast-cooking kind, I used 3 cups chicken stock to 1 cup polenta, added 3 T parmesan cheese, all according to the package)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 T olive oil

Wash the spinach. Here it is again in our drying rack. HUGE!

Cut the top & bottom off each onion and slice it into sticks/crescents. Melt 2 T butter in a pan and start sauteing onion slowly.

Keep stirring now and then for about 20 minutes, keeping covered while it cooks. Add another pat of butter once in a while. If you have the time and the butter, you can do this on super-low heat for up to an hour. The longer you cook, the sweeter and smaller the onions will get.

Next, prepare the spinach. Cut it into 2-3 inch strips and put it, still wettish, into a large pot with 1 T olive oil. Crush 3 cloves of garlic over it. Ideally you'll have enough to fill the pot.

Cover and heat the spinach over medium-low heat. You don't need any water other than what's clinging to the leaves. (But if you get paranoid and add a little extra, that's OK.) It'll cook down a lot.

Meanwhile, heat the other 1 T olive oil in a nonstick pan. Cut your plate's worth of polenta into pie-shaped wedges--as thin or wide as you like. Fry them for about 3 minutes per side, until each side is mostly golden brown.

To serve, spoon caramelized onions over a few polenta wedges, with spinach on the side.


Wandering Chopsticks said...

I've never heard of perpetual spinach. My first thought was just that the spinach was allowed to grow too old. Learn something new.

Thanks so much for your nice words on my post about courtesies. I really appreciated it.

"Prof. Kitty" said...

I found out more about perpetual spinach recently--it's called that because allegedly if you pick a leaf one day, it will have grown back the next!