|Fresh spinach||2 Pound|
|Unsalted butter||1 Tablespoon|
|Finely minced shallots||2 Tablespoon|
|Heavy cream/Half creme fraiche and half heavy cream||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Dry vermouth||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Freshly ground black pepper||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
1. Wash the spinach well, dry it, and pull out the large stems and veins. Don’t chop it yet; if you do, it will clog the strainer when you squeeze out the liquid.
2. Put the butter into a large pan over medium heat, wait until the foam subsides, and add the minced shallots. Sweat the shallots with a pinch of salt for a few minutes. Don’t brown them.
3. When the shallots have softened, add the spinach, turn up the heat and cover the pan. The trapped steam will help it to wilt, but toss it occasionally to prevent scorching. Remain attentive at this point: you must remove the spinach as soon as it’s wilted. Don’t cook it a minute longer than necessary.
4. When the spinach is wilted, turn off the heat, put it into a strainer, and press out as much liquid as you can with the back of a spoon or a small ladle. The liquid is full of flavor, so don’t discard it. Squeeze it directly into the pan, then set the spinach aside.
5. To the spinach liquid, add the heavy cream or the crème fraîche and cream, and the vermouth, and reduce it uncovered over medium-high heat until it’s thickened.
6. While the sauce is reducing, you can chop the spinach if you like, but if the leaves are small, you needn’t bother.
7. The sauce should be slightly thicker than you would normally want because the spinach will express more liquid when you reheat it, and thin the sauce somewhat. When the sauce reaches a good consistency, you can add the spinach or you can hold the dish. If you prefer to hold it, simply turn off the heat and cover the pan. When you’re ready, bring the sauce back to a boil and add the spinach just before serving. Otherwise, add the spinach now and stir it through to reheat it. Then taste it and season it with salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed.
8. Serve it with a lemon wedge for each portion. The dish tastes wonderful as it is, although lemon juice and cream do make a fine pair. Therefore, I would supply the lemon and leave it optional.
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