French Spinach And Dandelions


Editor's Note: This article from our archives was originally published on June 28, 1890 in The Manchester Cricket

“There is only one way of cooking spinach in this country, that is, boiling it in an abundance of water.

The French have a number of ways. They serve spinach and a delightful cream soup, and “a la crème” as a vegetable, a manner of serving entirely unknown to us.

As a rule, greens of all kinds are cooked too much in this country. Tender, young spinach will cook in 10 minutes of it is plunged into boiling water; 20 minutes is long enough to cook older, tougher greens. The addition of one quart of tender, young dandelion leaves to a peck of spinach leaves gives a pleasant and wholesome bitter flavor to the dish. Only the young heart leaves of the dandelion should be selected for this purpose. After cooking and draining the spinach leaves, the French cook pours cold water over them to ‘freshen’ them and brighten their color. After this they are again drained and heated up with a little butter and a half a cup of cream or rich milk, are well seasoned, and are then “spinach a la crème.”

They may be eaten simply with butter, or if heated in stock instead of cream, in the American way with vinegar. A wreath of slices of hard-boiled eggs served around the mold of spinach adds to the appearance, and is in addition to the flavor of the dish.”

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