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Spinach with Olive Oil Recipe

In medieval times, butter was in very short supply, as cows had not yet been reared to supply gallons of milk, as they do now.

Indeed they produced barely enough to feed their calves.

Olive oil was commonly used as lubricator. It finally fell from grace under the Victorians - only to return with a vengeance now.

This is a 15th century recipe for cooking spinach, and very good it is too!

Key Features

  • Suitable for Vegetarians
  • Suitable for Vegans


For 4 people:

- 1 kilo/2 lbs fresh Spinach

- 3 tablespoons (45ml) good Olive Oil

- a few grates from a whole Nutmeg

- a little Salt

Equipment: A big stainless-steel saucepan, with a close-fitting lid


- Wash the spinach carefully and unless they are baby leaves, strip the leaves away from their tough stalks.

- Transfer the leaves to the saucepan. They will carry enough water from their washing to make more unnecessary.

- Cover and cook over a medium flame for 5 minutes, stirring once half-way through.

- Drain the spinach well, and press thoroughly to extract excess water.

- Roughly chop; then return to the pan with the olive oil, salt and grated nutmeg.

- Gently reheat, coating the leaves with their flavourings.

• Can be prepared an hour ahead and reheated (a microwave oven is ideal for this). The spinach will lose its bright colour if left for too long.

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