Creamed Spinach

2 T butter
2 T all purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 package frozen chopped spinach – thawed and drained
2 cloves garlic – mashed
sea salt and pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ cup Pernod (you may substitute Ouzo)

Make the creamed spinach:  Melt the butter, add the flour to create a roux.  Heat the butter/flour mix until just bubbling.  Add the milk and whisk until it is the consistency of mashed potatoes.  Add the garlic, cayenne and spinach.  Cook for approximately 10 minutes to cook out the flour taste.  Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Add the Pernod and mix.  Reserve.

To serve:  Place small amount of pancetta on bottom of ramekin, cover with small amount of creamed spinach and then top with the Parmesan Tapioca.  Garnish with fried leeks.  Serve hot.

Okay, since the first recipe was not as simple as usual, here is a cucumber soup you can whip up in your blender in no time.

We are very fortunate to have such great grower’s markets in Southern Oregon and summer means fresh, crunchy cucumbers.  This soup is made without heating anything.  Just use your blender and voila, you have a creamy, refreshing soup!