Spinach with Nutmeg and Olive Oil (Spynoches Yfryed)

This is a recipe from medieval times, in fact originally from a cookbook called, "English Recipes from the 14th to the 19th Century." Butter, which we might add to spinach these days, was much too precious in those times; a cow gave barely enough milk for her calves. The olive oil is much healthier for us 'moderns', being full of essential fatty acids and very easy to digest. Most of us don't get to wear off butter during our days, not stumbling behind oxen turning over new ground, and then taking care to feed and bed down the oxen at night before we go in to supper ourselves.

Wash 2 pounds of new spinach, drain, but not too well! Put the damp leaves into a covered saucepan and steam gently until wilted, or a little more, but not until it loses its vivid color. Drain well this time, dry saucepan, and add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil. Add spinach, add a little grated nutmeg, reheat gently, turning with wooden spoon until spinach is well coated. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

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Spinach with Nutmeg


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