Old-fashioned Spinach with Gravy

Spinach with Gravy in Bowl

I’m always looking for new ways to use vegetables, so when I saw an easy-to-make recipe for Spinach with Gravy in a hundred-year-old cookbook, I decided to give it a try.

The recipe turned out well. The gravy enhanced the flavor of the spinach, and was quite tasty. I served it as a stand-alone side dish – though I think that Spinach with Gravy would also be delightful on toast.

Here is the original recipe:

Recipe for spinach with gravy
Source: Good Housekeeping’s Book of Recipes and Household Discoveries (1920)

The directions in the old recipe for the gravy are a little confusing. The recipe calls for meat gravy, which I would assume already contained some flour or other thickener, yet it also indicates that 1 teaspoon flour should be stirred into 2 tablespoons of melted butter – and then the gravy should be added. This suggests that the recipe author thought that the gravy needed to be thicker than the typical gravy – though 1 teaspoon of flour isn’t much, so why bother?

I used the second option (which is described in the text beneath the ingredient list), and used bouillion cubes when I made the gravy. It worked fine.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Spinach with Gravy

  • Servings: 3 - 5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 quarts (1 8-ounce bag) spinach

Gravy – Option 1

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon flour

1 1/2 meat gravy

Gravy – Option 2

2 bouillion cubes (I used beef bouillion cubes.)

1 1/2 cups boiling water

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

Wash spinach and cut into small pieces. Put in a pan, and using medium heat cook until tender (3-5 minutes). The water clinging to the spinach may provide sufficient liquid for cooking the spinach; if not, add a small amount of water.

In the meantime, make gravy.

Gravy: Option 1: In the meantime, in another pan, using medium heat, melt butter; then stir in the flour. Gradually, add gravy while stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the gravy is hot and bubbly. Remove from heat, and add the cooked spinach. Stir to combine.

Gravy Option 2: Dissolve the bouillion cubes in the boiling water to make a broth. In a pan, using medium heat, melt butter; then stir in the flour. Gradually, add the broth while stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the gravy is hot and bubbly. Remove from heat, and add the cooked spinach. Stir to combine.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

14 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Spinach with Gravy

  1. I’m not a fussy eater, but I draw the line at cooked spinach as a stand-alone dish. Fresh is fine, or incorporated in pasta sauce where it is disguised is fine. But I appreciate that it is a nutritious food.

  2. I have never heard of spinach with gravy, let alone eaten it. I love fresh cooked spinach. I wonder if this was a way to extend the amount, or perhaps, make something more filling?

  3. I have always used a roux when thickening liquids but mostly in soups. This sounds like an interesting dish though I don’t know if I’d prefer beef or chicken gravy…

  4. My mother always mixed it with mushroom soup. It was her “signature” dish. Then again her favorite cookbook was Peg Bracken’s “I Hate to Cook.”

  5. Hmm. Interesting. When I thought this might be a white gravy of some kind I was all in. But meat gravy. I don’t think so and definitely not on toast. Actually the posters idea about mushroom soup sounds better to me. Oh well I see that I am in the minority!

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