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One New Med Recipe: Baked Spinach (Tian d’Epinards)

May 1, 2011

Mediterranean Month is here!  Go for vegetables!

Since May is Mediterranean month and because one focus of Oldways’ Med Month celebrations is vegetables, I went looking for a simple and delicious vegetable recipe.  I had a hankering for spinach because I’d been out for dinner at Petit Robert in Boston’s South End and they’d run out of creamed spinach (mais oui!).

Claudia Roden’s Mediterranean Cookery (originally published in 1987) is one of my favorite Mediterranean cookbooks and I consulted it for a fun spinach recipe.  As always, she doesn’t disappoint. (If you’re curious about the word “tian,” Roden tells us it’s a clay dish used for baking in Southern France – but you can use any baking dish of your choice.)

— Sara

Ingredients

1.5 pounds spinach
Salt
4 ounces long-grain rice
4 eggs
10 ounces milk
Pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

2. Wash the spinach well and cut off the stems.  Blanch the leaves in salted water.  Drain as soon as they soften, then cut them into strips.  Put the rice in a pan of boiling, salted water and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender, then drain.

3. Beat the eggs and gradually stir in the milk.  Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a shallow ovenproof dish.  Bake for 30 minutes or until set.

Variations:  Try whole grain long-grain rice (add 15 minutes cooking time) and lower-fat milk for good taste and health. You can also substitute swiss chard leaves for the spinach.

Serves 6

Recipe from Claudia Roden’s Mediterranean Cookery

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