Harvesting spinach while it’s still young gives small leaves with a mild, clean flavour – tender enough to eat raw, stalks and all. They’re very versatile; use anywhere you want a burst of green freshness. Perfect raw in salads, or wilted straight into sauces, curries and soups at the last minute.
Storage & prep
Will keep for several days
Storage: Keep in the salad drawer of your fridge but be careful not to crush the delicate leaves. Delivered from our farm, so wash before cooking.
Prep: Spinach is delicious raw tossed into a mixed green leaf salad. If cooking, blanch in a pan of boiling water for 1 min, drain, refresh in a bowl of cold water, drain again and then chop finely. Or wilt directly into sauces, soups, pastas and curries at the end of cooking.
Wash it well as it likes to trap fine grit in those leaves. You need only discard the toughest looking stalks and root ends.
Spanakopita: A wonderful word and a wonderful dish. They have been the mainstay of most veggie cafés for decades and for good reason; they are made of very few, but very tasty ingredients. Wilt down some well washed spinach in a pan until just collapsed. Mix with a few sliced spring onions and some sharp salty feta. Season with some nutmeg and chopped dill. Fold inside layers of buttered filo pastry and bake until crisp and golden.
Wilt: It is often at its best when simply wilted down in a pan and finished with a little salt, lemon, olive oil and maybe a scant grating of nutmeg. A perfect cradle for some pan-cooked fish, or filling for a just-cooked omelette. The residual water on the leaves from washing helps the leaves to wilt quickly without scalding in the pan. Keep them moving and they’ll wilt in moments rather than minutes.
Blanch & squeeze: Spinach will release water as it cooks and in some cases this can work against the final dish. By blanching the leaves in boiling water and then cooling immediately in cold water you arrest the cooking process and lock the colour into the leaves. They’ll only take about 30 seconds to cook. Squeeze the excess water from the cooled leaves and coarsely chop them. They can be added to a whole host of dishes to warm through in the final minutes. You can pack them into ice cube trays and freeze for a later date if their moment isn’t now.
Creamed spinach & roasted garlic orecchiette
You could use wet garlic when it's in season. Instead of roasting it, finely shred about half to a third of a stick and cook with the spinach. Vegans could use egg-free pasta, oil for wilting the spinach, soy cream instead of double and leave out the cheese.
Serves 2 - 50 min
Spinach works well with:
Asian flavourings – chilli, ginger, sesame, soy sauce
Cheese – especially ricotta and feta, also hard cheeses
Dairy – butter, cream, crème fraîche
Dried fruit – raisins and currants
Lemon juice and preserved lemon rind
Mustard * Olives and olive oil
Pork – bacon, chorizo, ham
Spices – cayenne, chilli, mace, nutmeg, paprika