In researching ideas for my upcoming Hamptons-centric cookbook, I’ve combed through all the editions of the East Hamptons Ladies Village Improvement Society cookbooks, raided dusty boxes of handwritten recipes and had long, wonderful discussions with local librarians and farmers. Several people pointed me to photographer and author Robyn Lea’s 2015 release Dinner with Jackson Pollock: Recipes, Art & Nature. I wish I’d picked up a copy of this book sooner! When, like Jackson Pollock and his wife Lee Krasner, you entertained would-be art collectors in your Springs home before Big Food took over in American kitchens, you really cooked!
I was immediately taken with the idea of “muffins” composed almost entirely of spinach, cream cheese and eggs, with breadcrumbs thrown in for a little lift.
So this was the first recipe I tried from the book. It was quite fabulous. The only down side was, I couldn’t find any way to improve upon it, so I won’t be using it in my book.
But to share this wondrous treat, I reached out to the publisher and got their permission to reprint it below. They also included the accompanying recipe for tomato chutney.
The first cutting of spring spinach will be in soon. Enjoy.
Spinach Muffins & Spring Greens with Tomato Chutney
In 1946, Jackson finally had land in Springs to enable him to follow in his grandfather’s and father’s footsteps and plant his own vegetables. Spinach was a favorite ingredient in both Stella Pollock’s and Lee and Jackson’s recipes.
This recipe from Lee and Jackson’s collection works as a spinach loaf, though it is also lovely baked as individual spinach muffins and served warm for a delicious springtime lunch accompanied by a salad of wild or seasonal greens and tomato chutney.
For the Muffins (makes 8 small muffins)
2 cups raw baby spinach, chopped
2 cups cream cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1⁄4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
For the Tomato Chutney (makes 6 cups)
1 cup seedless raisins or sultanas
4 cups fresh tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
11⁄2 tablespoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1⁄2 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
1⁄2 cup light brown sugar
1. Sterilize glass jars and lids.
2. To make the muffins: Preheat the oven to 380°F. Line 8 small muffin cups with baking paper. Beat together all ingredients and divide equally among the cups. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with a salad of spring or seasonal greens and tomato chutney.
3. To make the chutney: In a large, heavy-bottom pot, combine all ingredients and cook slowly over low heat for 1 hour, stirring frequently, to reach a jam-like consistency. Pour chutney into sterilized jars and lid tightly. Can be stored for up to two months in a cool place. Refrigerate after opening.
Reprinted with permission of Assouline Publishing.