Salvador Dali hated spinach with a passion bordering on fetishism. He said of it:
“I detest spinach because of its utterly amorphous character….the only good, noble and edible thing to be found in that sordid nourishment is the sand.”
I think that’s a really rude thing to say about this unassuming and faithful green. I love it in all forms; tossed in a crude salad, wilted into mashed potato, in soups … but – most of all – I love it in pie. Last Friday’s post received several FB messages from friends asking for the recipe, which astonished me as it must be the easiest dish to make, ever.
Spinach, I can confirm, mingles like a jingle with green olives under a blanket of cheddar in a pie. I had to wonder if Elzie Crisler Segar had this chemistry in mind, way back in 1929, when she created that electric love affair between Popeye and Olive.
No; I am, and always will be, a champion of Spinach; much like Grimrod (who would name a baby that?) de la Reyniere:
“Spinach is susceptible of receiving all imprints: It is the virgin wax of the kitchen.”
1 roll brown puff pastry
1 packet baby spinach cooked and all excess water squeezed out
1 tin white asparagus
1 packet pitted green olives
a cup of grated extra mature cheddar
salt and ground black pepper, ground nutmeg
4 eggs, whisked with a ½ cup of cream
Line your dish with puff pastry
Place the spinach in a layer, then the asparagus, then the olives
Cover with cheese
Mix the seasoning into the egg/cream mixture and pour into dish, making sure to cover all the cheese
Bake at 180C until done. Mine took about 40 minutes.
Alternative: You could add a layer of shredded ham between the spinach and asparagus.
Serve at room temperature with a seasonal salad.
The popularity of Popeye helped boost sales of the leafy vegetable. Spinach consumption increased 33 percent in the United States between 1931 and 1936 as Popeye gained popularity, saving the spinach industry in the 1930s. Using Popeye as a role model for healthier eating may work, a 2010 study revealed that children increased their vegetable consumption after watching Popeye cartoons.