I don’t know that I’ve ever mentioned it, but it’s important to know that I have a very major obsession with spinach. Not only do I love the taste of it when it’s sauteed, but I find that my body has craved it for as long as I can remember. Even as a child, I remember my parents being so impressed when I’d eat an entire plate full of sauteed spinach.
Now that we’ve gotten that (not so) important fact out of the way, let’s talk about my love for anything “Florentine”. What does “florentine” even mean, you ask?
The easiest way to remember what it means is that a Florentine-style recipe features spinach. Specifically, a dish prepared “a la florentine” will feature some main ingredient, such as eggs, poultry or fish, served on a bed of spinach. Traditionally, a la florentine spinach is simply simmered in butter. On top of the spinach and protein, you’ll also traditionally find a Mornay Sauce, or creamy sauce.
Recently, I came across a Skinnytaste Fish Florentine dish that looked oh-so incredible. I took inspiration from her recipe and adapted mine to be dairy-free and Whole30 compliant. If you are ok with adding dairy to your diet, her recipe looks so delicious. I mean, all of her recipes do, right? Well, I’ve changed that up and combined the creamy elements to the spinach (keeping it dairy-free, of course) and topped it all off with a white flakey fish. The creamed spinach will go fabulously with any protein on top– steak, chicken, or even eggs to name a few. It’s absolutely delightful and I want to eat it every day.
For the Creamed Spinach:
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely diced shallot or 1 large shallot
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 roma tomatoes, seeds scooped out and diced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tsp arrowroot flour
- 16 ounces baby spinach leaves
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup unsweetened, full fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
For Pan-Seared Halibut:
- 1 tbsp. ghee
- 4 [6-8 ounce] filets of halibut
- kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
For the Creamed Spinach:
- Heat a large skillet with sides over medium heat. Add olive oil and when the oil is hot, add shallot, garlic, crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until tender, about 4 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes, kosher salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes soften, about 2 more minutes.
- Add the arrowroot and whisk into the sauteed veggies until well combined.
- Add 1/2 of the baby spinach (or as much as you can fit into your skillet) and cook, tossing occasionally, until wilted down. Continue adding the spinach into the skillet, tossing gently, until just wilted. You will likely have to do this in a few batches.
- Add the nutritional yeast, coconut milk, chicken broth, lemon juice and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the sauce thickens a bit, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat and keep warm, tossing occasionally, while you cook the fish.
Cook the Fish:
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Generously season the fish fillets with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Melt ghee in the skillet and swirl the pan so that it evenly coats the bottom of the skillet. Place the fish fillets, flesh side down, into the skillet and cook until golden brown and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the fish and continue cooking until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, 3 to 4 more minutes.
- Divide the spinach mixture amongst 2 plates (or pasta bowls) and top with the pan seared fish. Serve with a wedge of lemon and enjoy!