Q: How do you sauté fresh spinach?
A: Here’s a recipe that I use that was shared by Harvard University Dining Services. It’s loaded with flavor and so quick to prepare.
Fresh Spinach with Sesame Seeds
1 tablespoon canola oil or peanut oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound fresh baby spinach
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Heat the canola or peanut oil in a wok or a large sauté pan over medium heat, and sauté the garlic for 20 seconds; do not let it get brown. Add the spinach and toss lightly with tongs, so that all pieces cook evenly.
When the spinach is lightly wilted, remove from heat, drizzle with sesame oil and toss. Add sesame seeds and toss again. Makes 3 servings.
For other fresh garden produce, here’s a couple more recipes that I like to use from the Harvard University Dining Services. Chefs from Sebastian’s Café in the Harvard School of Public Health collaborated to create the “Heart of the Plate, Heart of the Pyramid” food station which encourages putting the Department of Nutrition’s Healthy Eating Pyramid into practice.
Green Beans with Dried Cherries
1/2 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 small red onion, diced (scant 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup dried sweetened cherries
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 pound green beans, trimmed
Salt to taste (optional)
Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the red onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Add the brown sugar to the onions. Stir to dissolve. Add the dry cherries, vinegar and water. Simmer mixture for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the cherries are soft and the liquid has reduced. Do not let the mixture cook until dry. If it begins to dry out, add more water in small amounts to keep it most. Set the sauce aside.
Place the beans in a small steamer basket. Place the basket in a pot with a tightly fitting lid, above an inch of boiling water. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, keeping the beans slightly crisp.
Toss the steamed green beans with the cherry glaze, season with salt to taste (if desired), and serve. Makes 4 servings.
Roasted Beets with Balsamic Vinegar
4 medium beets, washed, peeled, and diced into roughly 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon canola oil
Salt (optional) and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss the beets with oil, salt (if desired) and pepper to coat evenly. Place the beets in a baking dish and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove the beets from the oven, add vinegar and mix right away with a spatula, scraping any caramelized bits off the bottom of the dish. Transfer beets to a serving dish. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve. Makes 4 servings.
— Susan Krumm is an Extension agent in family and consumer sciences with K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, 2110 Harper St. She can be reached at 843-7058.