That’s right, they’re not just for toast anymore! Jam, marmalade and other fruit and vegetable preserves are a welcome addition in this new collection of recipes from James Beard-nominated Rachel Saunders, author of Blue Chair Jam Cookbook.
This is a beautiful way to enjoy spinach and leeks, and it makes a homey and satisfying lunch. The addition of mustard, white pepper and apple butter gives it a very British character. Serve this with an egg on top and toast on the side for an extra-special midday meal.
Related: How To Poach An Egg
- kosher salt
- 1 pound spinach leaves
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, preferably European-style
- 2 tablespoons neutral-flavored olive oil
- 2 large leeks, including some of the green, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
- 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon plus a large pinch freshly ground white pepper
- 2 tablespoons Apple butter, store-bought
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups whole milk, warm
- 1 1/2 cups packed coarsely grated cheddar cheese, preferably Irish
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Have a large bowl of ice water close at hand.
- Immerse the spinach leaves briefly in the boiling water in batches to wilt and then transfer them swiftly to the ice water with a slotted spoon.
- As soon as the spinach is cool, use your hands to squeeze as much moisture out of it as possible.
- Chop the spinach and place it in a medium bowl.
- In a 10-inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil over low heat.
- Add the leeks and sauté until the leeks are wilted and very tender, about 15 minutes.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, the mustard, 3/4 teaspoon white pepper and the apple butter, breaking up the apple butter as much as possible.
- Remove from the heat.
- Add the leek mixture to the spinach.
- To make the cream sauce, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
- Add the flour and cook, whisking vigorously, for 1 minute.
- Gradually whisk in the milk and 2 large pinches each of salt and white pepper.
- Cook the mixture slowly over very low heat, stirring continuously and slowly with a heatproof rubber spatula, until thickened.
- Whisk in the cheese and continue to cook, stirring, until the sauce is smooth.
- Do not ever let the sauce boil.
- When the sauce is done, pour it over the spinach and leeks, stirring well to combine.
- Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then taste for seasonings and serve warm.
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