First of all, I know it sounds disgusting. When I first learned of the existence of purposefully wilted spinach several days ago, I was confused. As a diehard fan of fresh spinach salads, wilted spinach is a sad thought. Believe it or not I am now a diehard fan of wilted spinach. It makes an amazing garnish for some of Peirce’s simple staples, a light side dish for any meal, and can be customized to your heart’s content. Next time a “thanks, Peirce, but no thanks” night rolls around and you find yourself standing in the servery with a plate full of plain rice, here’s the solution.
Start off with a plate of fresh spinach from the salad bar. Drizzle on a small amount of the olive oil of your choice. The roasted garlic olive oil is my favorite, but any other work as well. You can also opt for no olive oil, but you’ll need to be more attentive to the leaves drying out/burning when you wilt them.
Lightly toss to get optimum leaf coverage and place the leaves onto your wax paper. Now is your chance to customize. I grabbed some onion from the sandwich bar and tore the rings into little pieces to add some extra flavor, but you can really add whatever you want. Just be careful that whatever you put in doesn’t have too much liquid so that you don’t spill all over the panini press.
Now panini press your spinach in the wax paper, being sure to check it every few seconds to avoid burning. Once the spinach reaches an appropriately darker green, lift the press and CAREFULLY slide the spinach onto your plate. When you get back to the table, feel free to add salt and pepper to taste. Perhaps even a bit of hot sauce for all you Sriracha lovers.
You can use your delicious wilted spinach as a topping for pizza.
You can also use it to top plain or fried rice.
You can mix it into salads, pasta, put it on sandwiches, or even just eat it on its own. The possibilities are endless and delicious. After trying it, I am convinced. I plan on shamelessly wilting my spinach way more often. Don’t be afraid to let your culinary flag fly free and join me.