Garlicky Creamed Spinach and Arugula

Serve my garlicky creamed spinach and arugula as a side dish (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
A side of Garlicky Creamed Spinach and Arugula.  Served with a Rice Medley which is topped with a Seared Pork Chop in a Sherry Sauce.  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
A side of Garlicky Creamed Spinach and Arugula. Served with a Rice Medley which is topped with a Seared Pork Chop in a Sherry Sauce. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

One of my favorite sides to a juicy steak is creamed spinach which I love to order at local steakhouses. For Christmas Dinner this year, my husband made Steak au Poivre. It’s a peppery seared steak dish with a rich cognac sauce which he served alongside my Easy Mashed Potatoes. I came up with this tasty Garlicky Creamed Spinach and Arugula side dish that we deemed worthy of a posting on this site!

Serve my garlicky creamed spinach and arugula as a side dish (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Serve my garlicky creamed spinach and arugula as a side dish (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

It’s usually clear whether a restaurant is making its own dishes from scratch, or whether it’s just heating up prepared foods. Making food from scratch just tastes better as you will find with this creamed spinach dish. It makes a great “bed” for baked salmon or a seared chicken breast, as well as an accompaniment to a grilled steak. This is by no means a calorie or fat-free dish! However, indulging once in a while, and controlling portion size of such decadent dishes is how we can enjoy our lives — in my opinion.

Fresh Spinach! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Fresh Spinach! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Generally, I will have some arugula (also known as rocket) on hand in the refrigerator which, if not eaten in a timely manner, will get soggy and inedible. It’s a usual challenge of “what to do with the arugula” before it goes bad. And, I usually have a bag of fresh spinach leaves waiting to be used in cooking or in salads. This spinach and arugula dish works like a charm, and arugula that wouldn’t have passed muster in a fresh salad can be used nicely instead of discarded. I love that!

Chopped Arugula is a peppery addition to Creamed Spinach (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Chopped Arugula is a peppery addition to Creamed Spinach (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

To make this side dish, I saute some chopped shallots and minced garlic in butter and olive oil

Chop half of a large shallot (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Chop half of a large shallot (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Lightly caramelize the shallots and garlic in the butter and oil (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Lightly caramelize the shallots and garlic in the butter and oil (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

…add spinach leaves and stir…

Add the fresh spinach leaves to the garlic and shallot mixture (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Add the fresh spinach leaves to the garlic and shallot mixture (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Stir the spinach and cook until it wilts slightly (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Stir the spinach and cook until it wilts slightly (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

…add some flour and stir…

Sprinkle the flour over the spinach (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Sprinkle the flour over the spinach (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Stir the spinach until coated with the flour (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Stir the spinach until coated with the flour (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

…then add cream and reduce a bit until the spinach wilts…

Add the cream to the wilted spinach (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Add the cream to the wilted spinach (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Cook the cream sauce a bit until it thickens slightly (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Cook the cream sauce a bit until it thickens slightly (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

…and finally add some parmesan

Add the shredded parmesan (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Add the shredded parmesan (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

…and chopped arugula.

Stir in the chopped arugula until it wilts slightly (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Stir in the chopped arugula until it wilts slightly (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

And stir a few more minutes while it thickens.

The creamed spinach and arugula has thickened (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The creamed spinach and arugula has thickened (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Warm through and serve!

Warm through and serve! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Warm through and serve! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

It all comes together pretty quickly into a creamy decadent side dish. Hope you will enjoy it as much as I do!

Seared pork chops in a sherry sauce served over a rice medley and accompanied by garlicky creamed spinach and arugula (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Seared pork chops in a sherry sauce served over a rice medley and accompanied by garlicky creamed spinach and arugula (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Stuffed Pork Chop, Rice Pilaf, and Creamy Spinach and Arugula (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Stuffed Pork Chop, Rice Pilaf, and Creamy Spinach and Arugula (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Garlicky Creamed Spinach and Arugula

Ingredients:

2 T butter
1 T olive oil
1/2 c chopped shallots
1 clove garlic, minced
5 oz pkg fresh spinach leaves
2 T flour
1/3 c heavy cream
2 T shredded parmesan
1 c chopped arugula
salt and pepper
Additional sprinkling of parmesan for presentation

Method:

1. Melt the butter in the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
2. Add the chopped shallots and saute until the shallots are lightly caramelized.
3. Stir in the minced garlic and cook another two minutes. Do not brown the garlic.
4. Add the fresh spinach leaves, stirring until the spinach is coated with the butter/oil.
5. Add the flour and cook two minutes.
6. Add the cream and cook until the spinach has wilted slightly but is still bright green and the cream has reduced a bit into a nice sauce, a few minutes longer.
7. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and the chopped arugula and warm through.
8. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.
9. Sprinkle some additional parmesan on top of the creamed spinach and arugula — just like the steakhouse version, except I think my version tastes better!

Serves 4 as a side dish. Goes well with beef or chicken and could be served with salmon. Additionally, you can use it as a bed for grilled meat or fish.

Variations: Omit the arugula if you wish, yet I think it adds a nice peppery flavor. Stir in some shredded swiss cheese if you don’t have parmesan. You could use frozen spinach but I find it to be too watery. You might also try to use some Greek yogurt instead of the cream although the sauce may be a bit thinner. If you have leftovers, toss with some sauteed mushrooms and cooked spaghetti pasta for a different type of pasta dish.

Toss some Garlicky Creamed Spinach and Arugula with some cooked Spaghetti and sauteed Mushrooms for a different dish (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Toss some Garlicky Creamed Spinach and Arugula with some cooked Spaghetti and sauteed Mushrooms for a different dish (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Garlicky Creamed Spinach and Arugula, Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes and a Buffalo Steak au Poivre (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Garlicky Creamed Spinach and Arugula, Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes and a Buffalo Steak au Poivre (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

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