Sautéed Spinach with Lemon-and-Garlic Olive Oil

"In every little restaurant in Umbria, there are sautéed greens on the menu," says star chef Nancy Silverton. Here, she blanches spinach, then sautés it in garlic-spiked oil until all the leaves are thoroughly coated.

Sautéed Spinach with Lemon-and-Garlic Olive Oil
Photo: © John Kernick
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 35 mins
4 to 6


  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 10 garlic cloves, thickly sliced lengthwise

  • 2 dried chiles de árbol, broken in half

  • Kosher salt

  • Thick strips of zest from 1 lemon

  • 2 1/2 pounds spinach, cleaned, thick stems discarded

  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. In a small saucepan, stir together the olive oil, garlic, chiles and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir in the lemon zest. Bring the oil to a gentle simmer over low heat and cook until the garlic begins to brown slightly, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the oil infuse for 1 hour. Discard the chiles and lemon zest and reserve the garlic.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the spinach until bright green, 15 seconds. Using tongs, transfer the spinach to a bowl of ice water and let cool for 10 seconds. Drain the spinach in a colander, pressing down to remove all the water. Pat dry with paper towels.

  3. Heat a large skillet. Add the spinach and cook over moderately high heat until beginning to sizzle. Add the garlic oil and toss until the spinach is hot, about 2 minutes. Transfer the spinach and reserved garlic to a colander set over a bowl to drain. Mound the spinach on a platter, season with salt and pepper and serve.

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