The Surprisingly Delicious Il Mulino

I try never to listen to reviews. I don’t trust them because one man’s Dos Caminos is another man’s Taco Bell – and who is to say which one that man prefers.

Sometimes this gets me into trouble. Sometimes, it’s a draw. And sometimes, it lads me into a wonderful meal for which my expectations were really low.

Such was my delightful experience at the uptown Il Mulino.

Il Mulino is a veritable institution in the west village. It’s slightly easier to get a reservation there than its inspiration, Rao’s. It’s a club to which everyone belongs, as long as you come in with a reservation, which will likely be on the very early or somewhat late side.

Hey, I could be down with some prosecco at 6pm.

The vibe and atmosphere is old school elegance - break out your Birkin bags, and no ripped jeans, gents. The lighting is so low that even we, four young and healthy people, had to break out our iPhone flashlights. But you won’t read your menu for the first few minutes that you are there anyway.

First, you will order a bottle of wine from the rather small and overpriced list – how can you not? It’s such a celebratory feeling being ushered to your tiny, lamp lit table by a tuxedoed Italian man who spouts nothing but compliments, bella this and prego that….you need to drink to keep that buzz going!

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Then, you will receive a chunk of parmesan from a large wheel. It’s nutty, salty, and a little sweet.

Then, there is the spicy hard salami.

Then there is the zucchini, oily and addictive.

Don’t forget the mussels bruschetta, where the mussels are a little blah but the crostini is downright fabulous. Tart, juicy, sweet, and a little earthy. Just a hint of garlic. Sorry for the lack of photos – toldja that the restaurant was insanely dark!

I wish I got a photo of the overflowing bread baskets. Yes, multiple. Spicy, crispy foccacia, fresh doughy tomato foccacia, wheat country bread, and garlic bread so cheesy, savory, and delicious that it must be baked with pure crack cocaine.

Yeah, it’s that tasty.

Only then do you get to look at the impossible-to-decipher-in-this-darkness menu.

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Porcini ravioli

Keep your oysters and other aphrodisiacs. This is the sexiest dish that I ave ever eaten. It’s swimming in a creamy, truffle inflected sauce. It’s firm but pillowy and light on the inside, with cheesy, woodsy, meaty porcini mushrooms. The pasta is tender and the serving is gigantic – easily enough for 2 light eaters. It’s rich and heavy in the most wonderful way. It’s almost heady with all of those mushrooms and cream. It’s intoxicating. 

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Chicken alla Romana

The most shocking of the night, because it tastes so home cooked. If you told me that your nonna was back there cooking it, I would believe you in a heartbeat. The most tender chicken in a lemony, almost velvety sauce with capers, mushrooms and artichoke hearts. The chicken reaches that magical point of fall apart tender but not yet mushy. It’s so bright and comforting – it’s really tasty in every way. It doesn’t come with a side dish, but get some more of the garlic bread to sop up that wonderful sauce. Trust me, you will want it all.

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Veal Milanese

A lighter option to veal Parmigiano. Thin, wonderfully tender veal that is so soft and sweet that my fiance announced that it must have been smuggled into the country, because he had never tasted veal like this. It has a crunchy, thin breading that isn’t at all soggy and is well seasoned with salt and dried oregano. It’s covered with fresh tomatoes that are so sweet and juicy that it reminds me that the crap I have been eating all winter is finally giving way to spring and summer fruit. I would order this again, but would also like to try the much more sinful Parmigiano version.

Il Mulino gets an unfair rap as overly pricey and subpar. It was absolutely fair for the amount and quality of food that we got. The servers asked us if we wanted appetizers or dessert but did NOT push us. We were not rushed, pressured to upgrade our wine selection. or made to feel in any way that we were less than because we only ordered entrees. We were even gifted some fig grappa at the end to entice us to return. The service was efficient, warm, and genuine. It was an excellent meal, and though not a cheap one, a fairly priced one.

So even though I don’t  follow reviews, you should follow mine. For that time when you don’t  have to pinch pennies, Il Mulino is too delish to miss!

Cafe Fiorello Does Not Impress

Ugh this is one of those posts I DREAD writing.

Like, I almost didn’t write it.

However, I realized that I owe it to you, my readers, to give you my honest opinions.

And, honestly…I don’t know how this restaurant has been around so long.

Cafe Fiorello has long stood across the street from Lincoln Center – prime real estate all year long, but especially good in the holiday season. Hordes of little girls and their grandparents flock to see “The Nutcracker” and afterwards, who wouldn’t like a little pasta? You would think the dining room would be at the top of its game to entice clients who otherwise might not come this way, to return in the warmer months.

If that’s the case…ai yai yai.

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The dining room si large and loud, but not unhappily so  just the generally happy buzz of contented diners. It’s on the fancier side of things, but it’s very kid friendly – really the perfect family setting.

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Bread basket

Tasty. The multigrain bread is dry and forgettable but the foccacia is lovely – vaguely garlicky and studded with fresh basil. Best of all, there is a pesto butter sandwiched in the slices, like delightful, creamy, salty surprises throughout the soft bread. Definitely enjoyable!

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Burrata

Okay, nothing more. Nowhere near Amali. Nowhere near a lot of places. A little dry. A little bland. A little…little. Where is the olive oil? The seasonings? The “more than 1 measly slice of tomato?”  All this is lacking and it’s still $18? It’s a miss.

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Meatballs

They serve their purpose, even though they did come to the table lukewarm. I love the nutty, crunchy pistachios on top and the soft texture of the meatballs. But they are quite one note. The sauce is too sweet and the balls are too bland.

That’s what she said.

Where is the fragrant oregano or the kick of Sicilian chiles? Where is the layer of sharp pecorino cheese or the sliver of melting garlic in the sauce? For the love of Pete, where is the SALT?

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Spaghetti carbonara with truffles.

Sure, I make the best carbonara. But this verrsion could at least TRY to measure up. Or, you know, it could be lazy and not offer any taste or texture other than “gloppy.” It could be lacking salt and have steamed the asparagus into oblivion. The egg yolk is wonderfully unctuous but..again..where is the salt? Or pepper? The pasta itself is the saving grace – it is obviously fresh and is al dente with a fresh, eggy flavor and ideal texture. Unfortunately, despite the ample shavings on top, it was like the flavor was purposefully sucked out of the truffles. Why? WHY?!

And the service…oh, the service. The night we went, the menu had changed that day. The place was busy. A bathrooms flooded. I get all that – I do. But when you wait an hour and a half for your meal, squinched into a booth that is crowded with patrons on either side, and the wrong meal is brought to you? You need more than just a small portion of the rather expensive meal comped.

You need an apology. A visit from the manager. A question about how they can improve. Some attention at all.

Our server was sweet but totally overwhelmed. Dining here was not a great experience.

And in a city with so many winners, why would you come here? For a better meal at half the price, go to The Smith.

Like I said, I hate writing less than stellar reviews…but more than that, I would hate if you wasted your time, money, and stomach space here.

Cafe Fiorello on Urbanspoon

Amali Makes Midtown East Dining…Interesting?!

When my girlfriend asked me to meet her for dinner near her office, I inwardly groaned. Midtown. Ugh. Midtown East. Double ugh. and Park Avenue. Like…who goes there to have a GOOD TIME?

The answer: me. Now, anyway.

IMG_20131209_184411_809Amali is a wine bar that looks more at home in the east village than on 60th and Park. it has a casual, warm, urban-farmhouse feel. It’s ideal for a girls night out and I can’t wait to return with some friends. It’s candlelit and not too noisy – gret for romance, not so great for food photography.

IMG_20131209_191853_018Burrata di campagna kritiko olive oil, maldon sea salt

Excellent, and it’s pricey because it’s great. It’s imported from the Italian countryside, and whatever they feed their cows is the right stuff. This burrata is far superior to the domestic stuff – it’s stretchy and smooth, surrounding such dense, creamy innards that they spread with a spoon on the toasted, well charred bread. It’s served doused in olive oil that is fruity and smooth. It’s also well seasoned  plenty of crunchy salt and spicy black pepper, which really elevates it. This is what makes this stand out seasoning is everything.

IMG_20131209_193722_991Eggplant with calabrian chili honey vinaigrette, cilantro, sesame, yogurt

A standout of the night! The eggplant must be fried at some point, or maybe baked in an insanely hot oven, because the skin is incredibly crunchy and the insides are melting and soft. It’s served with a very spicy chili sauce over tangy, creamy yogurt and the sweet vinaigrette. The cilantro gives this a decidedly middle eastern feel – don’t come here expecting the same ole, same ole. This is a standout dish!

IMG_20131209_193734_164Spanish octopus with castelveltrano olives, yukon potatoes, wild oregano

Excellent for those of you who love shellfish – this is fresh and mild, with no hint of the sea – much like a mild, well prepared clam. It’s tender and served with a salty, crushed olive relish that lends it a briny flavor. The potato puree is a fun take on the classic octopus-potato combination. It’s not too salty or overseasoned - the flavor of the octopus really shines.
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Ricotta honey doughnuts with honeyed ricotta

Oh. Yes. Ricotta makes these doughnuts moist and custardy on the inside. They are served piping hot and rolled in sugar, but aren’t too sweet. they are served on this creamy, vanilla scented whipped ricotta. It’s like zeppole gone up town.

It’s like me gone uptown – or at least midtown! This is a little overpriced, but it’s midtown east, so everything is a little overpriced. The service is great, the wine list is extensive (there’s a full bar, too), and the food is a great switch up from the normal Italian fare at wine bars. The menu is kinda ll over the mediterranean and middle east, which is what makes it interesting.

I just said midtown east was interesting. Whoa.

Park Side – Don’t Fuggedaboudit

I never watched “The Sopranos”. But I love Goodfellas. The G-dfather. Every documentary about the Gottis is currently on my DVR.

I buy into the hype. I love a good mob story! Family, loyalty, intrigue…and food. Every mob movie seems to feature mouth-watering sequences with garlic, tomatoes, and ground pork. 

And if there were a restaurant that the mob frequented in real life…not saying they DID, just saying IF…that restaurant would be Park Side in Corona, Queens.

It’s across the street from a boccee ball court, described in my Ice King of Corona post. It has a valet run by men in suits – in fact, every server in the restaurant wears a suit with a bow tie and I didn’t even see any female ones. Funny enough, this doesn’t’ strike me as sexist – this is probably because most of the head servers there are career servers. They seem to have been here since the 1960s, and maybe they have.

This is Italian-American food at its finest. This is manicotti, spaghetti bolognese, and chicken francese. Don’t be looking for any micro-farmed greens or organic wines. Look for the food that you thought was Italian. And don’t be ashamed…we all love it.

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You can sit downstairs in chairs marked with plaques that  bear the name of the regular customers who weekly sit there. You can sit upstairs, in the frosted glass, flourescent lit, fabulously 1980s Marilyn Monroe room.

You might need shoulder pads to feel truly at home here.

Feel free to come dressed in jeans or an evening gown – anything runs and the hospitality is always the same – as if you are the head of the family, gracing the restaurant with your presence.

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Bread Basket

Like none I have ever experienced – it’s what Scarpetta’s bread basket was before it got all uptown and slick. Garlicky crostini, crunchy breadsticks, and the most fabulous salami and cheese filled bread. Its’s doughy and soft, layered with spicy pork and tangy provolone cheese.

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Don’t forget to treat yourself to the hunks of salty Parmesan and the juicy, garlicky, soft roasted tomatoes on garlic crostini.

This is the start to what is sure to be a gut busting meal.

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Every meal here comes with salad or pasta. Choose the salad, but only go for the Caesar dressing if you like an aggressive, heavy hit of anchovy. You will need something green tonight, after all.

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Chicken Parmesan

The finest in the world. On the planet. No apologies, no justifications. Just the best. The juiciest thicken cutlet, pounded thin so it stays tender. The crust is thick and very crunchy. The cheese is obviously whole milk mozzarella – nothing else could be this creamy and stretchy. It is broiled until it is bubbling and brown, with crispy bits amongst the soft, chewy bits of cheese. It avoids that horrible fate of most chicken Parmesan dishes - the dreaded sog factor. This is served with a generous swath of bright, oregano-heavy tomato sauce and still remains crunchy and juicy. It just can’t be beat. There is nowhere that makes chicken parm like Park Side. 

Oh, and I lied. Get that pasta with the chicken parm – it demands it.

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Chocolate cake

Of course, for a meal this nostalgic, only chocolate cake will do, and this one delivers. Fudgy, dense, moist…just like Grandma Mary made.

Or, in this case, Grandma Maria. 

This is the grand temple of Italian American cuisine. Without it, how could places like Carbone come to be? It’s not cheap but you get what you pay for – fabulous service, atmosphere that can’t be beat, and food that is just what you want when you order it. And in huge portions.

Maybe I better start watching “The Sopranos” after all…nothing like continuing with a theme.

Acqua at Peck Slip – Supporting the South Street Seaport

This was originally published about 3 years ago. Since that time, Hurricane Sandy ravished this part of Manhattan and many restaurants were badly hurt. So many closed and even more are struggling. I am republishing this in hopes to get people out of their ruts and into these restaurnts that want and deserve your business. 
If you think I spend a lot of time in the financial district…you are right.  I want to put the word in on a reliable, if slightly pricey, trattoria-esque option!
 Acqua Restaurant is located at peck slip downtown.  This is the oldest part of the city, and is covered in cobblestones and surrounded by buildings where Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill Cody used to eat and drink when they performed at Madison Square Garden!
White pizza with potatoes, onions, prosciutto, and house made mozzarella
 Just what you expect in the best way possible.  This is reminiscent of one of my favorite CPK pizzas of all time, the late, great, rosemary chicken potato pizza.  Many a tears were shed when that pizza was retired.  But replacing the chicken with salty, silky, gently charred, fatty PROSCIUTTO?!?!  OK, this pizza raises the potato pizza BAR!  The crust is thin, crunchy at the edges, and tender within.   The potatoes must be par-boiled because they are meltingly soft as well as fried to a crunchy crisp at the top layer.  The onions are sweet and the mozzarella is the final taste layer of creamy goodness.  This pizza is a salty, creamy, sweet, crunchy, flavor bomb. 
Steamed snapper
 The fish is excellently, if simply, prepared, and the moist, sweet flesh sings with just a squeeze of lemon.  The spinach is perfectly cooked, tasting of all it’s minerally, vegetal goodness without too much overwhelming garlic.  The potatoes are also great-crispy, rosemary flecked, steaming hot and fluffy within,..this place is great with tubers!
Great food, nice atmosphere, good service…are there any downsides here? Ummm…yes.  This is pretty overpriced.  The pizza was $16 and the fish is $26.  In the east village, those prices would never fly, and even in hell’s kitchen you can do better than that.  But this is the FiDi.  And pickins are slimmer.  So…they can overcharge.  Is it fair?  No.  Is it the way of the world?  Yes.  Is it insanely expensive and overcharged? No.  Will I return?…Probably, yes.  For that pizza.  Because I love it.  And because in this neighborhood, it’s one of the only places to get this kind of meal…and because, once again, it’s carbs on carbs.  How can you really put a price on that?
Acqua at Peck Slip on Urbanspoon

How to Ruin Your Waistline the Vegetarian(ish) Way!

This weekend was an exercies in proving that just because you aren’t layering hunks of bacon on yur plate doesn’t mean that your food isn’t unhealthy.

I mean that, of course, as a compliment:

Exhibit A:

IMG_20131003_204211_903Duck fat Brussels sprouts at Little Prince

There aren’t any huge, hulking pieces of crispy duck fat here. No breaded, deep fried cheese, either. And, yet. this is the most indulgent vegetable dish that I have had in ages. The sprouts are roasted slowly in enough duck fat to make them incredibly crispy on the outside and almost soft within. The duck fat infuses into the sprouts, taking away any bitter flavor and leaving behind a savory, meaty richness that makes this hearty enough to have as a small main dish. Can’t wait to get my hands on some duck fat and make this at home! Just keep in mind that this tiny restaurant gets extremely noisy, so bring the fun friends here and lead romantic dates elsewhere. IMG_20131011_122310_242Carrot Soup at Eli Zabar’s

Cream. That is what I remember when I look at the (admittedly shoddy) photo of this soup. Rich, soothing, decadent cream. Oh, and carrots. Sweet, earthy carrots, punctuated by the slight zip of onions and garlic. And how could I forget the sharp black pepper that generously pervaded the soup, cutting through the heavy ingredients and bringing them into focus. This soup is insanely rich and wonderfully tasty. It isn’t a diet dish, bu tit is a dish to die for. 

IMG_20131013_120002_013Eggs in purgatory at Rosemary’s

Oh YES! This is for people who love zesty, not to say insanely spicy, dishes. Two expertly poached eggs served in a chunky, vibrant tomato sauce that is equal parts acidic tomato, sharp garlic, and woo-hoo lip tingling chiles. Luckily, the rich yolk enriches the sauce and cuts down on the chiles heat, allowing you to taste each component without being overwhelmed. It’s finished with garden fresh herbs (From their own garden!), thin shavings of Parmesan, and two hearty slices of country bread. You wouldn’t believe that after this I needed a food coma nap, but oh…I did. It may have been due to the lard and cheese foccacia I had as an appetizer. This is the kind of food that you make yourself when you have the time, but if you are too rushed or hung over, then you will be happy to pay the rather premium price that Rosemary’s charges.

Little Prince on Urbanspoon

Luce’s Italian Fare Delivers

I wrote about Luce awhile ago, but thought that it deserved its own full write up.

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You already know that the restaurant is large and casual, nice enough for dinner but relaxed enough for a family brunch – just a great neighborhood spot. And I told you about the addictive sundried spread. How about the rest of the food?

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Casear salad

Serviceable. No more, no less. Fresh veggies, a big serving, and some really soft, wonderfully salty but not bitter anchovies.

However, the dressing is bland. Like – really, truly, crazily bland. It doesn’t even taste overly gloppy or mayonnaise-y. It just tastes…like water.

I was craving some lettuce. And I got it.

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Endive, fennel, mushrooms, artichokes and hearts of palm salad with shaved Parmesan

If I loved this salad any more, I would actually have to marry it.

It’s so simple and at the same time, interesting. Bitter endive, meaty hearts of palm, creamy artichokes, crunchy fennel, and delicate, woodsy mushrooms in a light, acidic dressing. The Parmesan is thickly shaved and adds a necessary hit of salt to the dish. If you are a salad lover, you are totally going to love this. You get something different in each bite and the ingredients all work together instead of competing withe one another.

IMG_20130929_150509_785Mussels

Perfect. Each mussel arrives open and sweet, juicy, and soft. I have rarely had a bowl of mussels where literally every single one is open. This is a spicy, garlicky, overtly tomatoey sauce – just the kind I like. It’s filling but not greasy or overly salty. It’s just super satisfying with a slice of the accompanying bread. It’s listed as an appetizer but it’s really an ideal main dish. IMG_20130929_150519_251Parmesan chicken with lemon, peas, and artichokes

This disappeared so quickly that I didn’t’ even get a taste. Guess it was good, then?

Luce is a really great neighborhood spot. It’s reasonably priced, never too crowded, and the staff is prompt. Best of all, the food is really tasty.

Tasty enough to deserve a post of its own.

Paleo Turkey Meatballs in Mushroom-Sherry Sauce

So, my fiance started eating Paleo style.

Have you heard about that?

It’s where people eat like cave people used to eat – things like seeds, meat, and vegetables. They eschew things like dairy, refined carbohydrates, and sugar.

And they make their loved ones feel like Hannibal Lecter if said loved ones so much as look at a blueberry muffin.

So, in an effort to be supportive, I invented the below recipe. And I have to say…necessity is the mother of invention.

Because these are absolutely awesome!

Paleo Turkey Meatballs in Mushroom-Sherry Sauce

2013-09-23 paleo meatballsIngredients:

1 lb. ground turkey breast

10 oz. sliced mushrooms

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup sherry

rew sprigs each thyme and rosemary, chopped

salt ans  pepper, to taste

1.5 tbsp. mayonnaise

splash of almond milk

paleo meatballs 0141. Heat the oil in the pan until small bubbles arise, then toss in the onion and garlic. You want them to sizzle and turn translucent, but NOT to brown or color immediately – if that happens that means that those babies are burning.
paleo meatballs 0152. When the onions start to give off a savory scent and are soft (after about 10 minutes), throw in the mushrooms and herbs. paleo meatballs 016After another 10 minutes, they should look like this. There will be a lot of water now, from the shrooms. You need that.

paleo meatballs 0193. While the shrooms saute, combine the turkey, Worcestershire, mayo, and a bit of salt and pepper – not TOO much salt, because the Worcestershire is mighty salty.
paleo meatballs 0214. Form the meat into ping pong sized balls, put them into the pot, turn the heat down to medium low, and cover for 25 minutes, or until the largest meatball is totally opaque when cut. paleo meatballs 0275. Add the wine and the tomatoes. Allow the meatballs to cook for about 5 minutes more, until the tomatoes burst.

paleo meatballs 0296. Add the almond milk, stir, and taste for seasonings – I added quite a bit more pepper to mine. paleo meatballs 030 7. Serve.

These are so good that I almost wouldn’t think that they are healthy. They are juicy and soft, thanks to the mayonnaise. They go perfectley with the creamy, savory wine sauce. It is reminiscent of chicken Marsala with a pop of unexpected brightness from the burst tomatoes. And the almond milk…wow. It has a sweet taste on its own, but it becomes rich and…yes, you guessed it…downright NUTTY in this sauce. It’s so creamy that I would never guess it’s a dairy substitute. paleo meatballs 034In fact, served over mashed cauliflower, I would never guess that this is an entirely Paleo meal.

The cave people never had it so good. 

Gina La Fornarina – I’ve Got The Gift

I have the gift.

The magic touch.

I always (well, 9.7 times out of 10) choose fabulous restaurants.

I don’t know how I do it, but somewhere between my lack of athletic ability and my unruly eyebrows, fate decided to give me one gift – the gift of restaurant picking. I can somehow sniff out the diamond in the rough, that oft-passed-over gem.

I guess that’s the only way that we ended up at Gina la Fornarina

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This small UWS restaurant is the sort of place where coworkers come for a light lunch and mommies with strollers sit their kids down with ipads while they enjoy a glass of wine and a decadent pizza. It is steeply priced, but the atmosphere is breezy and feminine,the menu is child and adult friendly, and it’s the only game of its kind within several blocks. It’s casual-nice, with efficient service and a full bar, without having to pay the premium price of a full-on foodie restaurant.

pix 018Prosciutto and fontina panini

Very simple and very delicious. Buttery fontina cheese, soft and pleasantly salty prosciutto and the perfect panini bread -fluffy but thin, soft enough to eat but dense enough to stand up to the fillings. The meat fairly melts into the cheese and the effect is a surprisingly light sandwich. This isn’t huge or overstuffed, so you can indulge without feeling like you are going to need a new pants size after lunch. The salad alongside is fresh but underdressed – be sure to ask for additional dressing on the side.

pix 017Four cheese and mushroom pizza

When I see a dish made with truffle oil on the menu, I’m bound to order it. This pizza is great! It has a thin, rather stiff crust that has a nice char and thick bubbles around the crust. The four cheese blend of mozzarella, fontina, Gorgonzola, and parmiginao is well balanced – nutty, creamy, stretchy, and just a little piquant form the Gorgonzola. The mushrooms are meaty and juicy and the truffle oil is merely the faintest hint of heady, umami scent…it really completes the dish without overpowering this.

pix 015Gina la Fornarina is an ideal lunch or dinner spot. The breads are totally delicious and I would come back here for the pizza, sandwiches, or excellent wines by the glass anytime. You pay here, for convenience, for lovely surroundings, and for some good food. But, if you stick to food and not booze, it’s considerably cheaper. And more delicious than I would have thought, given the pink decor and cartoon-laden menu.

Thank heavens I stopped in here.

Thank heavens I’ve got the gift. 

Gina La Fornarina on Urbanspoon

Garlicky Lemon Spinach

Popeye was onto something good.

And I don’t just mean those sweet tattoos.

I mean SPINACH!

Not that chopped, foul smelling watery stuff from the can.

Not even the very useful frozen kind that is perfect in highly seasoned dishes.

I mean fresh spinach.

Toothsome, hearty, almost meaty. It is refreshing raw but I far prefer it cooked. In this simple method, it is sauteed with garlic and oil, and served hot with a spritz of lemon juice.

Garlicky Lemon Spinach

2013-07-01 foooodIngredients:

1 lb. fresh, clean spinach

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tsp. chile oil or 2 tps. olive oil plus 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flake

1 tbsp. lemon juice

salt to taste (at least 2 tsp)

fooood 0271. Put the oil, pepper flakes(if using), and garlic into a hot pan. Let the oil heart up over medium low heat so the garlic gently starts to turn translucent, not browning at ALL. This should take about 10 minutes.

fooood 0312. Add the spinach. At first it may hardly fit in your pan, but don’t worry.

fooood 0323. Put a tight fitting lid on the pan and let the spinach cook for about 3 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted.

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4. Add the lemon juice and let it reduce for another 5 minutes. Then add the salt. 

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5. Then, taste for seasonings. If it is too bright or tart, you can add some sugar, but chances are that it will be perfect. 

fooood 0426. Serve. 

This dish is so versatile. Fold it into a fluffy omelette. Layer it with freshly grated pecorino cheese onto a flatbread. Add a few slices of grilled chicken and turn it into a light pasta dinner. I especially love it with simply grilled fish. The trick here is to really be aggresive with the seasoning – spinach is a strong, minerally tasting vegetable. It can really take all of the tart lemon and savory garlic. Once you have tasted this super simple spinach, it is guaranteed to become a staple in your dinner menu rotation.

Popeye would be proud.