Spinach with Shallots, Garlic and Croûtons

Any spinach dish should always be cooked just two or three minutes before you are going to eat. This way you get the maximum taste and texture. In this recipe there are one or two things that can be done in advance – the trimming and washing of the spinach, making the croûtons, and the pre-cooking of the shallots and garlic.


  • 450 g (1 lb) fresh spinach, stalks removed
  • 2 slices crusty bread
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 25 g (1 oz) unsalted butter
  • freshly grated nutmeg


Make sure that all the central, tough stalks have been removed from the spinach leaves, and that it has been washed in cold water at least once to remove any grit. Drain well.

Dice the crusty bread into 5 mm1 cm (¼–½ in) squares. Fry in about 5 mm (¼ in) of olive oil in a hot frying-pan or roast in the oven until golden brown. Drain well on kitchen paper then sprinkle with salt.

In a large pan, cook the sliced shallots and garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the butter for a few minutes until soft. These can now be left in the pan ready to cook the spinach.

When ready to cook the spinach, re-heat the shallots and garlic until bubbling. Add the spinach and keep on a high heat, turning the spinach in the pan. The leaves will quickly soften and after 2–3 minutes will be cooked. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. The crispy croûtons can now be added or just sprinkled over in the serving dish.