Recipe Tasting: Spinach Bread

It's the end of a stretch of diet for an upcoming vacation. Refined starches are a no-no, but I can't help but miss bread. Rather than sneak over to a French bakery and blow the diet, I decided to take a stab at this recipe I found online. "Slice and enjoy as you would bread," it said, and it seemed awesome, with the promise of pesto taste sealing the deal. I had to try this. The recipe was seemingly simple -- easy to make, easy to follow. It took about 10 to 15 minutes total for prep and wasn't messy to make, with the exception of cleaning out the food processor. Perhaps this gave me a bit too high of hopes. I cheated a little and tossed in some extra pine nuts, just because, well, I like pine nuts.

I ended up having to bake it for 30 minutes before it set, unlike the directed 15, and my poor "bread" looked nothing like it was supposed to. The end result was surprisingly bland. I mean, really, really bland. Salt and pepper to taste should have been emphasized, with some guidance of basic measurement, as this ended up being really under-salted. There was no pesto taste, either; it was just spinach and basil with pine nuts thrown in. In fact, it was like a big, watery omelet. Chunks of egg, liquid from the spinach (and I squeezed the crap out of the stuff too), pine nut mush and pine nuts sort of congealed together like a failed quiche. Sigh.

It wasn't the best substitute for bread, and it was doubtful it could even be enjoyed like bread in any way. I ended up pan-toasting it with a little butter, and that helped. And the leftovers were great crumbled in my eggs with some feta this morning. Will this recipe stay in the recipe box? Not without some major altering. I could see sautéing the spinach with the garlic and some more seasoning (even seasoned salt would have helped a ton) and leeching out the water a little more before baking.

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Becky Means