French Fridays with Dorie: Lemon-Steamed Spinach Flashbacks

I spy…. lemon-steamed spinach! And broth-braised potatoes and Bistrot Paul Bert pepper steak too!

It has been almost two years since I made that meal and wrote about it. Revisiting that post was a bittersweet. Part of me wishes that writing those witty musings came in as easily as it did back when I started the blog. During this last months-long hiatus, that storytelling side got disconnected from my posts. I have been spending more time with my copies of On Writing Well, The Writers’ Idea Book and my big black bargain bin journal to help me snap it back into place.

Farmers Market Purchases - No Spinach here though

A, a friend from work, constantly stops me on the hallway asking for ideas on how to cook spinach. She has a vine growing at her house, and her husband constantly threatens to cut it away because: (1) it’s taking over other plants/areas in the house and (2) she doesn’t use enough of it. The spinach gets ignored because since it is a mature plant, the taste of the leaves is very strong. Raw baby spinach gets a lot of love because of its tender texture and mild flavor, but that grown up spinach… that’s probably the sullen, hard to understand teenager of the greens world. I laughed and totally understood when A told me she felt like she was eating a houseplant when she made salads with it. There has been a batch or two of farmers’ market spinach that made me feel like that recently.

The lemon zest used for steaming helps tame some of that houseplant aftertaste in the mature spinach. Infusing some olive oil with lemon zest will strengthen the lemon flavor. This will be another recipe to revisit when I find again that elusive Meyer lemon oil.

This vintage Tupperware steamer gets a lot of use in our house

This almost non-recipe of spinach, lemon zest and olive oil will find its way to A’s inbox soon. It’s a nice change from all the cheese/cream ladden recipes I’ve talked her into trying in the past!

French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking club where on a weekly basis, home cooks all over the world post their interpretations of a selected recipe from Around My French TableDorie Greenspan‘s award winning cookbook.

Tags: , , , ,


Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

23 Responses to “French Fridays with Dorie: Lemon-Steamed Spinach Flashbacks”

  1. March 29, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    Your writing is still beautiful! What a delicious meal!!!

    • March 29, 2013 at 9:50 am #

      While I am not rushing to make the broth-braised potatoes, that steak definitely begs for an encore. Thanks for your kind words.

  2. March 29, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    I do enjoy your posts today Adriana! I need to make that steak btw. Felices Pascuas!

    • March 29, 2013 at 9:52 am #

      Felices Pascuas para ti tambien, Paulita! Argentinean steaks were made for that cognac sauce.

  3. March 29, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    That steam reminds me of one my mom had – except I think hers was that bright goldenrod yellow 🙂
    Writing does have its highs and lows, doesn’t it? I always enjoy your posts, hang in there…

    Have a great weekend.

    • March 29, 2013 at 9:48 am #

      Writing is hard indeed… and practice and habit help make these posts better. I just had a few months when I felt I was out of stories or things to say.

  4. March 29, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    I’m not sure I would want to grow spinach since it takes so much to make anything other than salad!

    You know, all writers have lapses. I think it’s natural to reflect on how far we’ve come and long for that feeling of accomplishment and discovery that happened so often when we started blogging. If you think about it, all of those things that we’ve learned have just become second nature to us so we’re looking for that feeling, again. I think we are also a bunch of perfectionists!

    Have a lovely Easter!

    • March 29, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

      You hit it right in the nail, Susan. I really appreciate your take on writers’s block and those pesky expectations we set for ourselves.

  5. March 29, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    Writing definitely isn’t easy, but I really enjoyed reading this post and your older (linked) post….I’ve never seen a steamer like that. How does it work? Does it go in the microwave? Your posts are always interesting!

    • March 29, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

      It goes in the microwave! It’s three pieces: the base for the liquid, the perforated basket and the lid.

      My Mom was a Tupperware fiend back in the eighties, but this piece was actually my MIL’s. I am super grateful for some cookware pieces E ‘inherited’ when his parents moved into their current apartment.

  6. nana
    March 29, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    That is such a good looking plate. It all goes well together. Such an easy way to
    end this month’s recipe. Happy Easter.

  7. March 29, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    Love the Tupperware steamer. This was a great spinach dish. We loved it. Happy Easter.

  8. March 29, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

    I find myself staring long at the steamer. Have not seen that before from Tupperware. Hah! Love your dish and the beautiful pics!

  9. March 29, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    So, Adriana, what’s wrong with your writing. I enjoy every one of your Posts that I have the opportunity to read. I enjoyed going back to your Bistro Paul Bert pepper steak Post. That steak looks delicious. Since I jumped into FFWD late, there are so many wonderful recipes that I haven’t tried. This pepper steak is definitely a must-do. I just have decided that when baby spinach is available, that’s when it will be served at my house. I don’t like the taste of the “teen-ager” at all. I look forward to making this recipe and may just copy your entire meal from your old Post. Happy Easter, Adriana.

  10. March 30, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    Your posts are always wonderful, Adriana. I can relate to losing your storytelling mojo, though. I’ve been feeling that way a little myself, lately.

    I must make that steak again – it was so good!

  11. March 30, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    I actually like grown up spinach as much as I like baby spinach. This was a good way to prepare it. So simple. I always enjoy reading your posts, but I know what you mean about the writing. That’s already the harder part than cooking (or eating).

  12. March 31, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    I’m always making plans to do better with my blog but somehow I never follow through:( Still, I enjoy being part of the group and its the writing that connects our cooking efforts so I feel it deserves more effort on my part and I AM going to do better. One of these days.

    • March 31, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

      We’re all going to do better!

      I’m especially excited and motivated to continue working with my writing now that I’ve signed up for IFBC. If I’m going to invest in the conference, I need to bring my blogging up to par with the splurge 🙂

  13. April 4, 2013 at 6:40 am #

    Adriana, I don’t know what happened but I don’t have any posts on yours in my reader since October 2012… none of the newer 2013 ones are showing up…. did you change your feed or something? I am SO SORRY I have not been here – I just figured you were taking a bit of an extended break. I re-subscribed so all should be good now. Again, apologies…

  14. April 4, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    Actually – to let you know, when I subscribed though your RSS link on the page, it brings up a feed that stops in October. Not sure how to subscribe in a reader because the feed doesn’t look like it’s up to date 🙁

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: