Tag Archives: spinach salad

I’m strong to the FINNISH Cause I eats my Spinnage

I’m Sarah the  Pilgrim Woman! Ta-da!

Hey, if it rhymes for Popeye it can rhyme for me! (Popeye rhymes ‘finnach’ with ‘spinach’ – same deal, different dialect) popeye w spinach

And by the Finnish….I mean actual people from Finland.

These guys…

American Food Battle

Henri Alen and Nicolas Thielon from American Food Battle

Nicolas loved his pilgrim clothes….he thought he looked like a Musketeer, as in Three. And, The Three Musketeers did take place in 1627. In France and not New England, but still,

Nicolas could jump right in with the 1974 Three Musketeers crowd

Nicolas could jump right in with the 1974 Three Musketeers crowd, right in between Michael York and Richard Chamberlain

And, spinnage or spinach, was one of the dishes I prepared. It looked like this:

Spinach with eggs; German School, 17th century. Notice also r0asted quails

Spinach with eggs; German School, 17th century. Notice also r0asted quails

Divers Sallets boyled.
Parboile Spinage, and chop it fine, with the edges of two hard Trenchers upon a boord, or the backs of two Choppin-knives; then set upon a Chafingdish of Coales with Butter and vinegar. Season it with Sugar and a few parboyld Currans. Then cut hard Egges into quarters to garnish it withal, and serve it upon Sippets. So you may serve Burrage, Buglosse, Endiffe, Suckory, Coleflowers, Sorrell, Marigold-leaves,Wintercresses, Leekes boyled Onions, Sporragus, Rocket, Alexanders. Perboyle them and season them all alike: whether it be with Oyle and Vinenegar, or Butter and Vinegar, Sinamon, Ginger, Sugar, and Butter: Egges are necessary, or at least very good for all boyld Sallets.”
-1615. John Murrell. A Newe Booke of Cookerie. Falconwood ed. p. 15.

Quick run through for this Wicked Wayback Wednesday

  • Spinage is, natch, spinach
  • These trenchers are a kind of a knife, as are the Choppin knives – when I first saw this I thought they were Chopin Knives , and I was pretty sure that Chopin wasn’t around in 1615…
    Frederick Chopin, 1835 at age 25

    Frederic Chopin, 1835 at age 25 – nope, he wasn’t around in the 17th century

    Anyhow, chop spinach. Because of what happens next, even better, start with frozen chopped spinach and save yourself the trouble. When it’s cooked, drain the spinach. In fact, put it on an old clean towel and wring it out over a sink. Seriously. Squeeze that moisture out. I added 1/2 pound fresh sorrel to the almost 2 pounds of spinach as it was almost cooked down.  Sorrel doesn’t need much cooking and it really perks up spinach. The New York Times has this story on sorrel in the spring. (click on the link ) I’m going to try keeping some indoors this winter…..more on that later…. and I’ve never had trouble keeping sorrel all summer and into the Fall. Keep using it!

    Sorrel - Rumex acetosa. Oseille in French; suolaheinä in Finnish; acetosa in Italian

    Sorrel – Rumex acetosa. Oseille in French; suolaheinä in Finnish; acetosa in Italian

  • Put some butter in a heavy pan. By some, I mean a lot…Add the drained, wrung  out chopped spinach/sorrel mass. Put more butter on top. Over low heat, let the green stew up in butter and what’s left of its own juices.
  • Add currants – not the fresh ones, the dried ones. Parboil them first (just put boiling water over them for a few minutes – dried fruit is not as dried as it used to be. And that’s a change in the last 30 years, not the last 400). Raisins are really too big – currants are much nicer in this.

    Raisins V. Currants . Sometimes, Size matters.

    Raisins V. Currants . Sometimes, size DOES matter.

  • Add a splash of vinegar. How much depends on how much and how lip puckering your sorrel is, if you’ve added any. Add a little more butter on top, put the lid on the pan and keep it on low heat, stirring it about every now and again so nothing sticks to the bottom and all the spinach soaks up all the butter. Add more butter if it seems dry. Don’t be afraid of butter!
  • Hard boil some eggs. You’ve got time. Keep the green a-stewing.
  • What? No spinach? No worries – use borage, bugloss, endive, chicory,cauliflower, sorrel, calendula leaves , cresses, leeks, onions, asparagus (let me note here that in my opinion it is a crime against Nature to puree asparagus) rocket or arugala, and alexanders . This recipe is a master recipe – a whole class of salad, for all seasons of the year, covered.
    Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum) are a kind of wild celery, still found in the English countryside

    Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum) are a kind of wild celery, still found in the English countryside

     

  • Taste and season with cinnamon, ginger, sugar, vinegar and butter – all to your taste. Make it taste good. Your opinion counts!
  • Pile up on a serving platter and garnish with those hard boiled eggs, quartered. Serve hot, or warm, or at room temperature. What the painting doesn’t show is sippets – slices  of bread toasted or fried in butter. You knew there’d be more butter, right?
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One Potato salad

One Potato Salad. As in Potato salad for one. Or as one, of many, Potato Salad possibilities.  And there are lots of possibilities…

But this is about a single serving of a somewhat potato salad.

It actually started out as

SCANDINAVIAN FLOWER EGGS WITH SWEET-TART MUSTARD DILL SAUCE

Which is a perfectly good recipe from The Splendid Table  which is pretty splendid all on it’s own, both the recipe and The Splendid Table. The flower eggs are the actual hard-boiled and cut into quarters eggs arranged on top of the salad, as if they were the petals of a chrysanthemum….

chrysanthemum-yellow a

Ca you see it as a part of the salad? Isn’t it lovely to look at?

17th century spinach salad with hard boiled egg quarters that look somewhat petal like....

17th century spinach salad with hard boiled egg quarters that look somewhat petal like….

 

 

One Potato Salad

 One Potato whatever size you feel that you need. Or two littler ones. You could microwave this if you don’t have any boiled spuds on hand. Leftover roasted is also good, or even a scmere of leftover potato salad. But with the potato salad option  you’re  double dipping into the mayo pool….if you try to lighten with Greek yoghurt, there’s a flavor meld issue. Sweet potatoes are also an option. Or sweet potatoes and new potatoes…but that would be a TWO Potato Salad

Eggs – 2-3 are a serving – hard boil ‘em.  Lately I’ve started them in boiling water, let them sit in the covered pan for 11 minutes and then put them in cold water. After they’re cooled, shell them and the shells shouldn’t stick.

Serious Eats  has the serious low down on hard boiled eggs and are my source for shell free HB.

 

Dressing:

cider vinegar

Helmand mayo

 mayo

coarse-grained dark mustardmustard-taste-test-kosciusko-thumb-

Chopped fresh dill

Fresh dill - as much or as little as you like. Fennel fronds are also good; fresh parsley..let your taste buds help you choose!

Fresh dill – as much or as little as you like. Fennel fronds are also good; fresh parsley..let your taste buds help you choose!

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Lettuce or other leafy green for salad

Greek Yoghurt

  1. Boil the potato and hard boil the eggs. I often do enough for several days worth of salads.

  2. Make the dressing – start with a spoonful of mayo and add every else in dribs, drabs, splashes and pinches. Put into a leak proof container

  3. Pack your lunch bag with potatoes, eggs, dressing, lettuce and yoghurt.

  4. Assemble the salad

    1. Put a blob of yoghurt on the plate. Slice the potatoes all around over it so now you have potato resting and nestled into yoghurt. Optional salt and pepper at this stage.

    2. Break up the lettuce (or other salad green)in bite sized pieces all over the potato so that it is now hidden from view.

    3. Shell the eggs and cut them into quarters and place them petal like on top of the leafy green. Pretty as a picture.

    4. Drizzle the dressing over it all.

    5. Don’t lick your plate, at least if you’re in public or with others.

 

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