You know how people always say how pregnant women glow? How they are beautiful and radiant? And how pregnancy is a miraculous and joyous time in your life? Yeah, well, not for me. (And, no I’m not pregnant, I’m just reminiscing.)
When I was pregnant with my son I was basically a mess all of the time. Amongst working, taking care of a (then) almost three year old, relentless insomnia, one bout of pneumonia, two rounds of sinus infections and bronchitis, and an exploding hot water heater with a broken furnace to boot, I was having trouble hanging in there. Needless to say, I wasn’t really eating “right” during all of this. So one day my friend Amy came to my rescue.
She showed up at my house with a bag of groceries and told me to go lie down. After a little rest she served me some delectable spinach sandwiches and served them along with the tastiest roasted red pepper and tomato soup I’ve ever had (and it comes from a box no less!). I got on a kick with these sandwiches (and the soup) and they are now both staples in our house. I love them not only because they are delicious but also because they remind me that making good food at home, making healthy food that is also tasty food, and serving it to people we care about can be a profound act of love.
So, I thank goodness for Amy, and thank goodness for spinach!
Spinach, Feta, Olive Sandwiches
*Adapted from a recipe from my friend Amy
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1 pinch kosher salt
1 package frozen chopped spinach (10 oz), defrosted and squeezed dry
1 small pinch ground nutmeg, or three quick scrapes across a microplane
10-15 kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped (depending on how much you like olives!)
1 tbsp toasted pine nuts, chopped
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
6-8 slices of bakery bread
2 tbsp butter or margarine
In a medium skillet heat the olive oil over medium/low heat. Add the chopped onion and pinch of salt. Stir periodically while the onions slowly cook. You’re not looking to brown the onions, just sweat the extra water out of them and mellow the flavor.
Take the defrosted and squeezed spinach and roughly chop it again on the cutting board. Once the onions are cooked turn the heat down to the lowest setting and add in the chopped spinach. Add nutmeg and stir to combine.
Cut up the olives and add them to the pan. Stir to combine.
Chop up the pine nuts and add them to the pan. Stir to combine.
Once everything is combined and heated through remove the pan from the heat. At this point you can either proceed to the next step or leave the pan alone (off the heat) and return to it in when you are ready to complete the meal.
Add the feta cheese to the spinach mixture and toss to combine.
Butter the outside of two pieces of bread. Place one piece butter side down on a griddle pan over medium/low heat. Spoon about 1/3-1/2 of the spinach mixture on top of it. Place the other slice of bread, butter side up, on top of the spinach mixture. Cover with a pot lid. After approximately 3-5 minutes check the underside of the sandwich to see how toasted the bread has become. If the bread is golden brown and delicious it’s time to flip the sandwich for another 3-5 (or so) minutes on the other side.
Repeat with remaining bread and spinach mixture. Makes 4 small sandwiches.