Sautéed Spinach with Browned Shallots; moles and slugs and snails, Oh My

In early spring I planted spinach seeds.

I waited and watched for the little green leaves to poke through the dirt.

It took forever for them to be even an inch high.

I waited and waited for a few leaves to get large enough to pick.

Finally, I find a few leaves large enough to use as a garnish.

The next day (or so it seemed) the tiny row of spinach exploded and I had enough to feed the village.

We’re eating spinach for lunch and dinner – salads, gratins, stir-fries, simple vegetable side dishes….

This is a cross between a salad and a vegetable. Be careful to cook the spinach for a just a minute, only to wilt slightly.

Sautéed Spinach with Browned Shallots

Total time: 25 minutes


  • 6oz (180gr) fresh spinach
  • 2 large shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbs fresh regular or lemon thyme leaves, removed from stems
  • 2 tbs good olive oil
  • 1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • salt – sea salt is nice, and pepper

Sautéed Spinach with Browned Shallots


  • Wash spinach and drain.  We want a little bit of water on the leaves – what ever is left on the leaves after draining well. Cut any really large leaves.
  • Heat oil over medium heat in large nonstick skillet.
  • Add shallots and sauté until well-browned.
  • Add vinegar, thyme, sugar and heat through.
  • Add spinach and quickly stir-fry, 1 minute.  The spinach should just start to wilt.
  • Remove, sprinkle with salt, pepper and serve.

Print Recipe

As to my herb garden…..

I have une taupe (mole).

I have what is meant to be a large area filled with various types of basil.

As I do every year, I plant some seedlings that I start early, but the main crop is seeded directly into the ground.

Slugs and snails love basil. I surround the area with egg shells until the basil gets big enough to survive.

Slugs and snails don’t like to crawl over egg shells.

Taupe eat slugs and snails.

So, the good news is I haven’t seen a single slime trail all spring.

The bad news is the taupe is tunneling under all of my basil.

The seedlings, that were just starting to grow, are laying on top of the dirt every morning and have to be replanted.

The rows of seeds get disrupted by the tunneling and buried by the mounds.

I’ve replanted twice – each time I think I’ve gotten rid of it.

First I tried an old smoke bomb I found in the barn.

I thought it worked…..

I was wrong.

Second I tried an organic repulsive.

Apparently it didn’t give a rat’s ass that it was organic and wasn’t the least bit repulsed. Actually, it seemed to like it as there were more tunnels everywhere.

Finally, I went to the garden store and found a toxic gas. I asked the clerk if it would kill them. He started to assure me that it wouldn’t harm them, merely chase them off. Apparently the look on my face made him rethink his sales pitch. He read the box more closely and said, oui, tuer… it kills.

Well….. we’ll see. I lit 2 of them and stuffed them down the holes.

If all is quiet for a few days I’ll replant – again.

Then I’ll have to deal with the slugs and snails.

4 thoughts on “Sautéed Spinach with Browned Shallots; moles and slugs and snails, Oh My”

  1. I love spinach. I’ve never tried growing it but if you manage with seeds, I may have to. Definitely will be trying this recipe.

    The voles in the back flower bed I mentioned several posts ago have managed to uncover every single iris root in that area so they are all now exposed to whatever. They’re trying valiantly to grow, but it does not look good. We had torrential rains yesterday and I couldn’t get in the garden at all and today, the rain continued at a lesser pace, but it never got over 40. I’m hoping the iris and the big box of seedlings/bare root plants that were delivered Friday can hang in there for a few more days…

  2. Well, that tells me it would be pointless to plant spinach where I am. We can’t take a step without falling into a mole trail.
    But, why aren’t you having the spinach with baked eggs for breakfast?

  3. nightsmusic gardens are such a challenge…. And yet we keep trying. Spinach is easy to grow, and it loves cool weather so start it early in the spring.

    Kate, I turn it into soup and freeze that, I may have to look at freezing it for a veg, too this year,

    Tanna, I don’t cook breakfast. Or lunch for that matter. But I will make that for a starter this weekend…. with a nice rosado, I think

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