(French Receipt.) Pick the spinach leaf by leaf from the stems, and wash it in abundance of spring water, changing it several times; then shake it in a dry cloth held by the four corners, or drain it on a large sieve. Throw it into sufficient well-salted boiling water to allow it to float freely, and keep it pressed down with a skimmer that it may be equally done. When quite young it will be tender in from eight to ten minutes, but to ascertain if it be so, take a leaf and squeeze it between the fingers. If to be dressed in the French mode, drain, and then throw it directly into plenty of fresh water, and when it is cool form it into balls and press the moisture thoroughly from it with the hands. Next, chop it extremely fine upon a clean trencher; put two ounces (for a large dish) of butter into a stewpan or bright thick saucepan, lay the spinach on it, and keep it stirred over a gentle fire for ten minutes, or until it appears dry; dredge in a spoonful of flour, and turn the spinach as it is added; pour to it gradually a few spoonsful of very rich veal gravy, or, if preferred, of good boiling cream, (with the last of these a dessertspoonful or more of pounded sugar may be added for a second-course dish, when the true French mode of dressing the vegetable is liked.) Stew the whole briskly until the whole is well absorbed; dish, and serve the spinach very hot, with small, pale fried sippets round it, or with leaves of puff paste fresh from the oven, or well dried after having been fried.
For ornament, the sippets may be fancifully shaped with a tin cutter. A proper seasoning of salt must not be omitted in this or any other preparation of the spinach.
Boil the spinach very green in plenty of water, drain, and then press the moisture from it between two trenchers; chop it small, put it into a clean saucepan, with a slice of fresh butter, and stir the whole until well mixed and very hot. Smooth it in a dish, mark it in dice, and send it quickly to table.
Take it leaf by leaf from the stalks, and be very careful to clear it from any weeds that may be amongst it, and to free it by copious and repeated washings from every particle of grit. Put it into a large well-tinned stewpan or saucepan, with the water only which hangs about it; throw in a small spoonful of salt, and keep it constantly pressed down with a wooden spoon, and turned often for about a quarter of an hour, or until it is perfectly tender. Drain off the superfluous moisture, chop the spinach quickly on a hot trencher; dish and serve it immediately. Fried sippets of bread should always be served round this vegetable, unless it be prepared for an invalid.