November 19, 2009
Thanksgiving Sides: Truffled Spinach and Chantarelles
by Gareth Mark
A couple months ago I had the privilege of hosting Chef Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon for a cooking demonstration at Williams-Sonoma. He prepared a wonderful truffled spinach that inspired this variation.
You'll need one bunch of spinach for every two portions; no need for expensive baby spinach in this dish. Begin by gently sautéing the spinach with a generous portion of butter, about one tablespoon per portion. Remember to season the spinach immediately with salt. As soon as the spinach wilts and begins to release its water, transfer to a colander and drain for at least several minutes, or up to overnight in the refrigerator. Reserve the pan if possible.
When you're ready to proceed, clean and chop some chantarelles or other mushrooms of your choice. Add a tablespoon or two of butter and a splash of olive oil to the pan, and when the butter begins to foam, add the mushrooms. Season generously with truffle salt and freshly-ground black pepper, then sauté until the mushrooms release their water.
Add a splash of truffle oil to the pan if you have some, or another tablespoon of butter, then return the drained spinach to the pan and sauté until it's heated through. Add some crème fraîche to the pan--not too much, just enough to coat lightly--and adjust the seasoning with more truffle salt. If you don't have any crème fraîche, sour cream or heavy whipping cream will work just fine.
That's it. It's really quite simple to make, but the flavor is very sophisticated.