This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
Said about Spinach: "Spinach, to be truly enjoyed, should never be eaten without liberal saturation of gravy; and French epicures say, 'Do not forget the nutmeg.' This vegetable goes excellently with swine's flesh in every shape, but especially ham, the stimulating flavor of which it greatly modifies." "A gentleman who was fond of having his vegetables good, managed his spinach after this fashion: Say it was boiled on Monday, and sent to the table, properly seasoned, as the cook supposed; it went away untouched. The next day it was warmed, with an additional piece of butter, and again not eaten; and so on for four or five days, each time absorbing more butter; until our gourmand, finding it sufficiently good, made an end of it." "Spinach is often cooked in France with white wine. There is a popular saying, "Cela viets du vin dans vos epinards" ("That puts wine in your spinach"), referring to a slice of good luck. But I am informed that the dish thus prepared is not very tasty, and that epinards au jus or au betirre are in every way preferable." Fontenelle was a great epicure and was inordinately fond of spinach.
He had a friend who frequently dined with him who was equally partial to the succulent vegetable but they differed in their preferences of the mode of dressing, for while Fontenelle preferred it a la creme, the friend chose it dressed an betirre. In consequence it was customary when they dined together to have the spinach divided and dressed differently. One day Fentenelle was awaiting his friends arrival and the spinach was ready for the final dressing when instead of the one expected there cameames-' senger saying the friend had suddenly dropped dead. Fontenelle thought a moment, then turning towards the kitchen he said: " Tell the cook to dress all the spinach a la creme,"' and without further comment he went to dinner.
Wash the spinach clean and boil for a quarter of an hour with some salt. Then squeeze quite dry, and cut very finely. Mix six ounces butter, one ounce bread-crumbs, and some very finely minced onion, and a quarter of a pint of cream or good milk. Boil all up together with the spinach, and serve.
The latest novelty in American canned provisions is canned spinach, which is already cooked, and only requires warming by immersion of the tins in hot water to be ready for table. One three-pound can contains about one peck of spinach, measured in the green state.
Boiled, drained and buttered as in paragraph above.
Spinach with gravy.
Spinach in German fashion.
Boiled, drained, seasoned with butter, salt, pepper, nutmeg and sprinkling of vinegar.
With a thin slice of hot roast ham on top.
Spinach pounded and rubbed through a seive is made into several varieties of soups, as puree of spinach, cream of spinach, spinach with sorrel, and with various additions of other vegetables, rice or pastes.