For the first half of my life, when I thought of spinach, I thought of Popeye, the slightly crusty cartoon sailor man who, apparently unaware of the benefits of pre-workout and protein drinks, built his biceps by gulping spinach straight from the can. Hardly appetizing. Thankfully, I was introduced to fresh spinach, and today it’s one of my favorite greens — healthful, affordable, and tasty.
Of course, spinach makes a great base for a salad, but here it stars in a super-easy springtime supper, all made in my trusty cast-iron skillet. You could also make it in a sheet pan, which seems to be the going thing, or a 9 by 12-inch oven-safe casserole dish.
One-Pan Springtime Supper
3 cups fresh spinach, washed and drained
1 cup grape tomatoes, washed and drained
½ cup red onion, chopped roughly
3 or 4 filets of your favorite mild fish
juice of one fresh lemon
one clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then, add a tablespoon or so of olive oil to your skillet and tip the skillet to coat it well. Next, layer fresh spinach, a cup of grape tomatoes, chopped red onion, and garlic.
Top the vegetables with your favorite filet of mild fish. I used flounder because I happened to have some in the freezer. Snapper or roughy would work well, too. Salt and pepper the fish. Add a teaspoon of real butter to each filet and generously squeeze lemon juice over the whole pan. I also added a sprinkling of Herbs de Provence, mostly just for color. Basil would be nice, too.
Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
The spinach will wilt, of course, and the tomatoes will shrivel, and the whole meal tastes fresh, light, and good. You might want to add another sprinkling of salt to taste. I served this with whole green beans sautéed in a bit of butter and a side of quinoa, with a few chopped scallions on top.
Popeye was right about one thing when it comes to spinach: Olive Oyl is the perfect companion!
By day, Paula Angermeier is the head of communications for the Greenville County Museum of Art. Follow her on Instagram @townandcountryhouse.