Friday, September 25, 2009

Italian Spinach

I know you are supposed enjoy your tomatoes in the hot and hazy days of late August, but up here in the North it takes until late September to finally get a good crop. It has been a long journey that started with planting seeds all the way back in February. I can't say that we are swimming in tomatoes since not that many ripen at one time. I had all sorts of dreams about canning my own pasta sauce this year but there is no way we have enough tomatoes to do that. Still, this year's crop is a vast improvement over last year's crop of exactly zero. So, with a few extra tomatoes on hand I whipped up this simple but tasty side dish. You could also easily turn this into a sauce to serve over pasta, as I have indicated below.

- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 small sweet onion, halved and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- about 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth
- 1 bunch spinach, washed and drained
- salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large pan/pot. Saute onion and garlic for 5-7 mins, until softened and golden. Add cherry tomatoes and vermouth and bring to bubbling. Let simmer for about 10 mins, until tomatoes have reduced into a sauce.
2. Add spinach, cover pan, and cook for a min or so. Once spinach begins to wilt, remove lid and cook, stirring constantly to coat spinach with sauce. Cook for a few mins, until spinach is tender but not overdone. Season to taste and serve, draining off excess liquid if needed.
3. If you want to make a pasta sauce, add about 1 tbsp of tomato paste to thicken, then toss with pasta.
Here is one of our beefstake tomatoes. Mmmmm.