Summer gardening was always something I looked forward to growing up. I remember my Pa having fresh okra, corn, squash, hot peppers, and tomatoes. My dad’s garden is where I have this distinct memory of walking barefoot in the hot, dry dirt. For some reason, I found that comforting. I can still smell the air, see the colors, and taste the sweetness of the fresh goodness prepared with a pan of cornbread, butter, and pinto beans. That was the life…..

I still eat like I did back then and enjoy just experimenting with how I can enhance the flavor of my wine with something really fresh and crisp. More recently, I brought a carrot soufflé to Easter dinner which was a great hit. No one had heard of carrot soufflé but I enjoyed working with Peter Rabbit in the kitchen the night before. While baking my soufflé, I decided to make something new out of one food that has become a staple in my diet: Spinach. Either alone or paired with a piece of blackened salmon, grilled tilapia, or even a side to a burger, this spinach recipe is great!

3 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. minced garlic
1 cup of halved grape tomatoes
1 small jalapeno, chopped
Fresh Spinach
Grated Parmesan Cheese

In a sauté pan add olive oil and garlic, tomatoes. After sautéing about two minutes, enough for garlic to start smelling good, fill the pan with fresh spinach. Remember a lot of spinach is necessary because it cooks down quickly. Cook just long enough for the spinach to wilt and blend well with the rest. Top with fresh grated parmesan cheese and enjoy! If you do not have grape tomatoes, a can of chopped tomatoes and green chilies works well too.