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Quick Wilted Spinach with Garlic and Walnuts

June 22, 2012 (Updated: August 4, 2021)
Lily Moran

Serves 2 to 3

This recipe could not be easier, since spinach is best when cooked least. Most of the effort is in the preparation because the spinach needs to be thoroughly cleaned, unless you have a good source of prewashed spinach. (I always rewash packaged salad greens that claim to be triple washed just to be certain they’re free of dangerous bacteria.) Spinach provides a hearty dose of eye-protecting lutein, while the walnuts are a good source of healthy omega-3 fats. If you can find organic produce, all the better.


  • 2 large bunches of spinach (roughly one pound)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


1. If the spinach is not prewashed, fill the sink with water and add the spinach. Swirl it around to remove sand and dirt. Drain and repeat, if necessary.

2. Take the spinach out of the sink and use a salad spinner to remove as much water as possible. Pat dry with paper towels.

3. Remove the thick stems from the spinach leaves.

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4. Over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and sauté for about 1 minute.

5. Add the spinach to the skillet. You may have to use a spatula or your hand to pack it into the skillet. Keep using the spatula to stir the spinach and turn it over, mixing it thoroughly with the olive oil and garlic.

6. When the spinach is thoroughly coated with oil, cover the pan and cook for approximately 1 minute. Turn the spinach again and cook for another minute or so. By now, the spinach should be wilted. If not, stir again and cook a bit more.

7. Remove the spinach from the skillet, leaving behind as much liquid as possible. Drizzle an additional tablespoon of olive oil and the lemon juice over the spinach and stir. Top with walnuts, and serve with your favorite entrée and a mixed green salad.

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