1 lb Fresh spinach
6 Cloves fresh garlic (or
-more!) (up to 8)
6 (or more!) small, dried
-chiles, such as piquins or
-African Devils (up to 8)
2 Loaves (8-oz) „frenchettes”,
-or 1 1-lb loaf french bread
12 oz Chunk mozzarella cheese
This is so easy, it hardly needs writing up. All my friends love this, so I
thought I’d pass it along. Please excuse the lack of „exact” measurements,
but I cook by intuition and guesswork. Feel free to improvise!
Thoroughly wash spinach; drain as thoroughly as possible. Tear the larger
leaves into smaller pieces.
Heat olive oil in large skillet or wok and add garlic. Saute for a few
minutes and add spinach. Saute until spinach is limp. Crumble chiles into
spinach. If there is a lot of water in the pan from the spinach, you may
want to remove spinach to a dish, reduce the liquid on high heat, and then
return spinach to the pan. Be careful not to overcook spinach.
Slice frenchettes lengthwise. If using a whole french bread, slice loaf in
half, and slice halves lengthwise. Butter and lightly salt halves (this is
Slice mozzarella cheese (I prefer slicing a chunk of cheese over using
packaged shredded cheese).
Place bread onto pizza pan or cookie sheet. Spread spinach onto bread. Top
with sliced cheese. Bake at 300 – 325 for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until
cheese is gooey and bread is crispy. Do not let cheese burn.
Remove from oven and slice into 2 inch pieces. Makes about 24 pieces, and
serves 8 – 12 as an appetizer.
The variations here are endless: add mushrooms or capers or a few anchovies
or sliced black or green olives to the spinach; use diced fresh chiles
instead of dried (habs are great if your guests are into it!); try feta or
provolone with or instead of mozzarella, etc, etc.
I would be interested in hearing from anyone who tried this or tried their
own variation. I bet Popeye never thought of adding chiles to his spinach!