As a child, summer vacations were usually spent visiting relatives. Going to see my paternal grandparents in the St. Louis area was always an interesting adventure. They’ve always had a multistory home which was fun for my sister and me to run up and down. They also provided us a variety of different food and experiences. I have fond memories of going blueberry and blackberry picking, playing out on the lake and even getting frozen custard. See, in Texas, we have ice cream and snowballs/snow cones, but nothing like frozen custard. An M&M concrete is my favorite.
One of the other unique things was that they always had a garden with lots of flowers and fresh vegetables. I can remember going out to the garden and picking out a cucumber, wiping off the stickers, slicing and eating while it was still warm.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been able to share other experiences with my grandparents like heading to a local winery and enjoying the fare. My dog now runs up and down stairs and Granny is trying her hand at growing bell peppers and jalapenos. Still one of my favorite things we had while visiting my dad’s parents is Granny Franny’s wilted spinach. Around our house, we never ate a lot of spinach so, while visiting, I could never get enough. While Granny always uses Kraft Zesty Italian dressing, I’ve found that any Italian style dressing works well. She uses the microwave to wilt her spinach, but it’s also very good over the stove. Depending on how wilted you like your spinach, the stove may be a better choice. Adding bacon or scallions and homemade vinaigrette can dress up the flavor as well.
This recipe uses scallions and Greek style vinaigrette with the wilting done on the stove. I like how the spinach absorbs the flavors while wilting. This beautiful green side dish is flavorful and simple.
1 package of spinach or baby spinach
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup Italian dressing (used Greek style vinaigrette)
1 cup water
1. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add scallions and sauté for 2 to 3 min. or until soft.
2. Turn to low heat and add spinach, dressing and water. Sauté for 3 to 10 min. until wilted to taste.