13 October 2022 – Today I learned:
That I can make sautéed fresh spinach up to two hours ahead, let it stand at room temp, and finish it up in 3 minutes just before serving.
Normally, I don’t have a need for this — I sauté spinach all the time, but not a huge amount (one batch in one pan) and I’m not trying to time it exactly. However, on Monday we have friends coming to dinner and I plan to make a good deal of spinach as a side dish, which would be time-consuming to do at the last minute, requiring either multiple batches in the same pan (tick tick tick) or multiple sauté pans going at once — I also have a main dish I’m making last-minute stove top, so that’s not optimal (and who wants to clean up extra pans?).
According to this Epicurious recipe, I can sauté the spinach in batches and let it drain up to two hours ahead, when I’m not yet irretrievably frenzied, and just before serving dinner, I’ll cook the garlic very briefly — no one try to talk to me! burnt garlic is not the ambiance I’m going for! — then add the pre-cooked spinach and heat it through for 2 minutes. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, a handful of pine nuts I’ve remembered to toast the day before, et voilà! I hope.