You've Been Making Creamed Spinach Wrong This Whole Time

Ah, creamed spinach. It's the one thing you're almost guaranteed to see on the menu of any steakhouse (other than steak, of course). If you've never had it, you're missing out. Imagine the bite of savory green spinach mixed in a rich creamy sauce flavored with herbs, cheese, and onion — i.e. a mouthwateringly delicious way to get your veggies without feeling like you're actually eating veggies.

While it goes great with a steak, sometimes you don't want to get dressed up and pay for a restaurant meal just so you can satisfy your craving. Fortunately, creamed spinach is a fairly easy dish to whip up at home, with plenty of great recipes available online. However, no matter what recipe you follow, there is one important step you shouldn't skip if you want to end up with a delicious pot of perfectly creamed spinach rather than a wilted, slimy mess. Here's how to make creamed spinach the right way.

Blanching is the trick to a good bowl of creamed spinach

Before combining all of the ingredients for your dish, the spinach has to be cooked. And while you could do that via the method of your choosing, most bloggers recommend blanching your spinach (as opposed to sautéeing or steaming, for instance). Kitchn points out that blanching cooks the spinach more evenly and quickly and makes the greens more tender and flavorful. Even the famous Julia Child is a fan of blanching, according to Corvallis Gazette-Times, recommending it in her "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" book as a way to prevent slimy, soggy leaves.

What exactly is blanching? It's a very easy process. All you have to do is bring a pot of water to a boil and stir in your spinach leaves until the stems are soft (PBS says this should take about 40 seconds). Then remove the spinach and immediately put it in a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. That's it!