Spinach Catalana with Polenta and Soft Boiled Egg
We have been eating less meat of late, and when I realized I forgot a few pounds of spinach in the back of the fridge, I decided to salvage it by cooking it. I have been reading about Catalan Spinach, which is a quick dish of fresh spinach cooked with whole garlic cloves, pine nuts and raisins. I decided to give the dish a try. I found I liked it better with a splash of balsamic vinegar, so this is my version. We added a soft boiled egg and some slivers of Parmesan to make the meal a bit heartier.
I have been really excited about polenta lately, so I am constantly thinking of new and exciting ways to use it. Polenta is so filling in the winter and so incredibly easy to make, I am obsessed! You can buy “polenta” in beautifully decorated baggies or boxes for $6 to serve four, or you can stroll to the international market and buy a couple pounds of Semolina for a dollar or two. I choose the latter.
To be honest, I didn’t really research how to make polenta, I just decided to give it a go. I wanted something a bit richer and creamier, so I used milk instead of water to cook the polenta. I also added a bit of chicken stock concentrate to make the flavor even richer. It turned out delicious! Now I can’t stop making it! Not in the mood for spinach tonight? Try some of the other dishes I have been pairing with polenta like my Civet of Venison with Porcini or my Chanterelle and Porcini Stew! Delicious!
- 4 tablespoons olive oil plus more for polenta
- 8 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 4 pounds baby spinach
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 6 cups milk
- 3 teaspoons chicken stock concentrate
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 cups polenta, either fine or coarse ground
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup of shaved Parmesan or so to serve
- For the spinach, heat oil and sauté garlic for 1 minute or so.
Add golden raisins and pine nuts. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant and a bit golden.
Add spinach, cook until fully wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
Drizzle balsamic vinegar and mix to combine
- Meanwhile, boil water and cook eggs for exactly 6 minutes. Run under cold water to stop cooking.
- For the polenta, combine milk and chicken stock concentrate and bring to just before simmer.
- Add a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the semolina and begin stirring continuously. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting.
- Cook, stirring for about 5 minutes, the mixture will thicken and start to bubble. Be careful, as bubbles can be quite feisty, I received a blob of hot polenta on my forehead!
- Once thickened to your likeness, season with salt and pepper to taste. Now is a good moment to sprinkle in some truffle zest or grated cheese or what have you!
Drizzle with olive oil.
- Serve polenta topped with spinach and egg. Sprinkle with Parmesan.