Sautéed spinach

Sautéed spinach

The best sautéed spinach you’ve ever had. Inspired by Tuscany.

Sautéed spinach has been my husband Marc’s favorite appetizer ever since he tasted it on one of our trips to Tuscany. So whenever I come home with bunches of fresh spinach from the farmers’ market (and occasionally from our own vegetable garden!), this recipe is on the menu.

Granted, it’s a bit of a job to rinse the spinach and then blanch it; but once that’s done, the dish only takes a few minutes to prepare… and, well, it takes even less time to devour!

Food & wine pairing: Pinot Grigio with sautéed spinach

White wine icon
An Italian dish demands an Italian wine! How about a Pinot Grigio from northern Italy – or a Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a crisp and refreshing Tuscan white?

Spinach in bowl

Sautéed spinach

serves 4
active time: 30 min

  1. 1 tablespoon sea salt for blanching
  2. 2 lbs (905 g) spinach – root ends trimmed and thoroughly washed and spun dry
  3. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  4. 6 garlic cloves – skinned and finely sliced
  5. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  6. freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  2. country sourdough or Italian bread – cut in thick slices

  1. Step 1: Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water and several ice cubes. When the water is boiling, add the salt and two large handfuls of the spinach leaves, pushing them down so that all the leaves are submerged in the boiling water. Boil for 30 seconds. The leaves should be bright green. Drain and transfer to the iced water. When the spinach is totally cooled, drain and squeeze all extra liquid out, and lay on paper towels. Repeat until all the spinach has been blanched, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Chop the spinach roughly and place in a bowl.
  2. Step 2: Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds until garlic starts to soften but not brown. Add the chopped spinach and sauté for 2 minutes tossing often, until spinach is warmed through. Sprinkle with the salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss well and remove from heat. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a slice of country bread.

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Sautéed spinach

appetizer, spinach, sauteed


  1. This may get me to actually love spinach instead of seeing it only as a “necessary healthful component” of my diet. What kind of spinach do you recommend for home garden growing? There are so many seed types on the market now and here in Canada it is getting to planting season for the outdoors.

  2. Shirley Worgo

    Why do you have to blanch the spinach? Seems like an unnecessary step before the saute step.

    • Viviane Bauquet Farre

      Hi Shirley, all leafy greens release a tremendous amount of water when heated and spinach is no exception. Blanching it, partially cooks the spinach and all the water in the vegetable is removed. When you sauté it after blanching it, the flavor of the spinach is preserved (not watered down), making it absolutely succulent. It is not like any spinach you’ve ever had… pure delight!

  3. I could easily devour the whole 1kg! Love simple delicious food like this.

  4. I can’t wait to try this! It really does look wonderful! Thanks Viviane!

  5. looks mouthwatering! thanks Viviane. we are enjoying your new blog immensely!

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