Libre del Coch — Chopped Spinach

Libre del Coch was published in 1520 in Barcelona. It was written in Catalan – a language related to, but distinct from, Spanish, written by Ruperto de Nola.

Chopped Spinach [ESPINACAS PICADAS]
You must take spinach and clean it, and wash it very well, and give it a brief boil with water and salt; then press it very well between two chopping-blocks, then chop it very small. And then gently fry it in bacon fat; and when it is gently fried, put it in a pot on the fire, and cook it; and cast in the pot: good broth of mutton, and of bacon which is very fatty and good, only the flower (63) of the pot; and if by chance you wish it, in place of the broth, cast upon it milk of goats or sheep, and if not, of almonds; and take the bacon, and cut it into pieces the size of fingers, and cast them in the pot with the spinach; and depending on what the season it is, if you wish, cast in fresh cheese; you may do it likewise, like the abovementioned slices of bacon; and if you put in a great deal, do not put it in until the spinach is entirely cooked, and cast this in a little before dishing it out; and if you wish also to cast in tender raisins which are cooked, you can do it all around the spinach; and if you do not wish to put in these things, neither bacon nor grated cheese of Aragon, cast parsley and mint with it likewise; and the spinach will be better.
Recipe:
6 oz of Spinach, cleaned
4 tsp bacon fat
4 strips of Bacon, rendered and chopped
1/4 Cup Almond Milk
6 oz Queso Blanco cheese
Salt

Blanch spinach in boiling, salted water. Drain spinach as much as possible then chop finely. Add spinach to a hot pan with bacon fat and bacon to sauté. Cook until everything is warmed through. Place in casserole. Mix in almond milk and cheese. Make sure you sprinkle cheese on the top. Bake in oven, 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

[Comments: Originally I used ½ Almond milk, but the mixture was fairly watery. Cutting down liquid in next try. Maybe grind up spinach before sauté?]

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One response to “Libre del Coch — Chopped Spinach

  1. What strikes me about the original recipe is that it isn’t a recipe. It is more like a riff on spinach.

    “….and if you wish also to cast in tender raisins which are cooked, you can do it all around the spinach; and if you do not wish to put in these things, neither bacon nor grated cheese of Aragon, cast parsley and mint with it likewise; and the spinach will be better.”

    A starting point for cooking spinach by someone who seems to like it any way except just plain.

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