I guess I’m on a bit of a spinach kick right now.
Last week I tried Chickpea and Spinach Stir-Fry, and this week it was Spiced Spinach and Potatoes, from the River Cottage Veg Cookbook. As with Chickpea and Spinach Stir-Fry, imagining spinach and potatoes by themselves might not make your tastebuds sing… but this recipe delivers.
I have been looking at a lot of recipes online lately that involve deliciously cooked veggies or sauce with a poached egg on top. Shakshouka, a North African / Mediterranean dish, is my most favorite among them. It involves cooking tomatoes, onions, and spices into a thick ragu, and then poaching an egg all-up-in-there in the final moments of cooking. In my opinion, it lives with Steak and Ale Pie and Chicken Paprikash in the hall of fame of perfect winter dishes.
So in my exploration of this amazing cookbook, River Cottage Veg, I came across this boringly titled but richly seasoned recipe (with a poached egg on top) and had to give it a try. It is forehead-slappingly, why-didn’t-I-think-of-this-before?, simple. I’m frequently skeptical of recipes that have very few ingredients, though I shouldn’t be after so many simple recipes have proven to be crowd pleasers (or, at least, Rebecca pleasers). I was skeptical of this recipe at first, too.
Onions, garlic, garam masala and red pepper flakes and ginger, cooked potatoes, cooked spinach, and heavy cream… that’s it! Why didn’t I think of this before?
Essentially a version of the Indian dish saag aloo, cooked spinach with fried potatoes and ghee, this dish takes a bunch of bland ingredients and magically transforms them into a delicious, cohesive whole. Without a poached egg, it would make a great side dish, tapas selection, or curry accompaniment. With a poached egg, it becomes a meal. Vegans, just leave out the egg and you’re good to go.
No significant changes were made to the dish except the following:
- I used red pepper flakes in lieu of a fresh chile
- I used dried ginger in lieu of fresh ginger
- Given the choice between coconut cream and heavy cream, I used heavy cream. But I would love to try it with coconut cream to taste the difference.
The recipe serves four as-written, but realistically serves: two very hungry people, three pretty hungry people, or four polite people who have enjoyed pre-dinner hors d’oeuvres. Enjoy!