This post is sponsored by Revol, a French manufacturer of top-quality ceramic cookware. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Chocolate & Zucchini.
It’s Confession Tuesday and I have one to make: I don’t really like spinach.
On my early twenties’ quest to rediscover and fall in love with the vegetables I’d grown up not liking (I’m looking at you, Brussels sprouts!) spinach was a total fail.
I blame years and years of school cafeterias and well-meaning summer camp counselors. Unless the spinach is of pristine freshness and cooked with fairy dust in really inspired ways, the metallic aftertaste makes me shudder and push my plate away.
So I hardly ever buy spinach at all. But on a recent trip to the Perche, when we got to the organic produce stall where we buy a week’s worth of marvels (and then some) the minute we arrive at the greenmarket, we saw he had gorgeous spinach that was selling out fast. Maxence was tempted, I relented, and we snatched up an armful.
That spinach was so fresh and young it barely needed trimming. It did need a few baths of fresh water to rid it of grit and sand — do not skip that step! — and I decided to cook it down to a coconut creamed spinach of sorts, wilting it ever so briefly with some softened onions, and finishing it with the coconut butter I was traveling with (I am nothing if not prepared).
Spinach tends to release quite a bit of water when it cooks — it’s hard to spin it thoroughly dry — and the beauty of using coconut butter here is that it thickens those very cooking juices to a creamy film that coats the spinach leaves, sweetens their flavor, and efficiently negates any bitter or metallic aftertaste.
It was such an effortless preparation and we lapped it up with such enthusiasm that I have been making it again and again since, to the collective joy of my spinach-loving family (where do they come from?).
I have improved upon the initial recipe by adding strips of chicken (or an alternate source of protein, such as fish or tofu), which makes it a complete one-pot meal that you can put together in a mere half-hour, prep included. It is a great family dinner, but also sophisticated enough that you can serve it to friends for a weeknight dinner party. Throw some rice into the rice cooker, and you’re in business.
Speaking of pots! I am using the most recent addition to my kitchen equipment, a handsomelicious, yellow-lidded ceramic Dutch oven that was sent to me by Revol, a French manufacturer of high-end ceramic cookware.
I’d actually been coveting one for a few years (also, their elegant tagine pot) and this made it very easy to accept their offer to sponsor a post on Chocolate & Zucchini. Revol is a family-owned business that was founded in 1768 (nine generations!), their wares are entirely manufactured in Saint-Uze in the South of France, and they use all-natural materials to craft light but extra durable cookware that absorbs heat gently and conducts it evenly, preserving the moisture of dishes.
This particular model is very versatile: it is flameproof and induction-compatible, and it goes into the oven and the microwave oven, in the fridge and freezer, and into the dishwasher as well. I find it’s an ideal size to cook for four to six, and I have been l.o.v.i.n.g. it. (I’m actually selling a similar-size cast-iron pot I already owned to make room for this one in my tiny kitchen cabinets. If you’re in Paris and interested, let me know! ^^)
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- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
- 250 grams (9 ounces) boneless organic chicken meat (breast or thigh), sliced into strips (substitute white fish or tofu, as preferred)
- 650 grams (1 1/2 pounds) fresh spinach, carefully washed and trimmed
- 45 grams (3 tablespoons) coconut butter (see substitution note below)
- Coconut spiced rice or cooked basmati rice, for serving
- 1 lime, quartered, for serving
- Heat the coconut oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pot; I use my gorgeous Revol ceramic Dutch oven.
- Add the onion, salt, and curry, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft.
- Add the chicken and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring every once in a while, until the meat is cooked through and has a bit of color.
- Add the spinach and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until just wilted; don't overcook.
- Stir in the coconut butter.
- Serve immediately, over coconut spiced rice, with a squeeze of lime juice.
If you don't have coconut butter on hand, you can use 80 ml (1/3 cup) coconut cream (which is more concentrated than coconut milk). Since this contains more water than coconut butter, the final dish will be a bit more liquid; make sure you dry your spinach really well so it's not soupy.
Alternatively, you can substitute cashew butter in the same amount.