Popeye had it wrong about spinach. Spinacea oleracea doesn’t make you stronger. Instead of adding nutritional iron, it blocks the absorption of iron with oxalic acid, making you weaker. In some people, oxalic acid also promotes painful kidney stones. So popping cans of spinach down the hatch is not all it’s cracked up to be in the comic strips. But what is?
Continue the experiment further. Dump the spinach into a colander. Let it drain. Then squeeze it. More water comes out. Then chop the spinach on a cutting board. More water comes out. In the recipe for the most famous of all spinach dishes below, the spinach is finally squeezed even drier by twisting it in a dishtowel.
Even the name itself is a matter of historical dispute. After he inherited the seigneurie of a small hamlet from an aunt, he began calling himself Seigneur du Plessis-Marly. and some say he changed it to Seigneur du Plessis-Mornay. The village seems to have disappeared overtime. It does not figure in the roster of 200, 000 place names maintained by the Institut Géographique National. In chefspeak, Florentine refers to dishes in which eggs or fish lie on a bed of steamed spinach and are napped with sauce Mornay.
© 2007 Raymond Sokolov. All rights reserved.