The sections below were copied with permission from Mi Ae Lipe’s Tastes from the Valley to Bluff: The Featherstone Farm Cookbook (2008).
Spinach should be stored unwashed and wrapped in a ventilated plastic bag in the refrigerator vegetable crisper until ready to use; depending on its condition, it will keep for 3 to 5 days. Before storing, inspect the bunch to make sure no slimy leaves are present, as rot will spread to other leaves quite quickly. Excess moisture also tends to promote sliminess; slipping in a paper towel among the leaves helps to keep things drier. Spinach and other salad greens should not be stored next to apples or other fruits that emit ethylene gas, which will hasten spoilage and cause brown spots.
Complementary Herbs, Seasonings, & Foods
Almonds, anchovies, bacon, butter, cardamom, cheese, chiles, chives, cream, cumin, curry, eggs, fish garlic, ginger, ham, hollandaise sauce, horseradish, hot peppers, leeks, lemon, lemongrass, mint, mushrooms, mustard, nutmeg, nuts, olive oil, olives, onions, oranges, pasta, pepper, pine nuts, raisins, raspberries, sesame, sour cream, soy, strawberries, sugar, tarragon, tomatoes, vinegar, walnut, yogurt.
• Mix baby spinach with different lettuces, arugula, endive, dandelion greens, and fresh herbs for lush tossed salads bursting with flavorful greens.
• One of the classic spinach preparations is still the best: a wilted spinach salad made with hot bacon dressing, garnished with roasted almonds.
• Spinach combines wonderfully with pasta; toss in with cooked noodles, or use it in fillings for gnocchi and ravioli.
• Add a few spinach leaves in place of lettuce in your sandwiches, or add to tacos and burritos.
• Throw in a few handfuls of spinach leaves toward the end of cooking a stir-fry.
• Sprinkle some thinly sliced strawberries over your spinach salad, and serve with a balsamic vinegar dressing.
• Frittatas and crêpes benefit with the addition of some steamed spinach leaves to the mix.
• Substitute spinach for some of the basil and parsley in pesto.
• Make a creamy spinach soup, or add fresh spinach leaves to soups and stews.
• Layer spinach among the noodles and sauce in your favorite lasagna recipe.
Gomae (Sesame Spinach) (serves 2)
This is a traditional Japanese dish of cooked spinach prepared with a sesame paste, usually served at room temperature.
8 ounces spinach
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1. Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the spinach into the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes until it turns bright green. Immediately remove the spinach and plunge it into ice water for 1 minute to stop cooking. Drain thoroughly, squeezing out excess water.
2. Mix the dark sesame oil and soy sauce or tamari together in bowl. Toss the oil mixture with the spinach and top with toasted sesame seeds. Serve warm or cold.
Credit: Featherstone Farm
Spinach, Nuts, and Cheese (serves 2)
This is a great savory dish. You can add hot chiles for added pizzazz.
2 sliced minced thick-cut bacon (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup minced onion (red or white)
2 green garlics, minced (or substitute 2 regular cloves garlic)
1/4 cup walnuts
1 bunch spinach, coarsely chopped and washed
1/4 cup cubed feta or fresh mozzarella cheese
1. Brown the bacon (if desired) and drain off the fat. Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat, and sauté the onion, garlic, and walnuts until they soften.
2. Stir the spinach into the nut and oil mixture and cook down, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the bacon and cheese and cover until warmed, about 3 minutes.
Credit: Judy, Featherstone Farm CSA member
Japanese Style Spinach Salad
Steam spinach (cook it over- not in- an inch or so of boiling water) for 3-4 minutes. Cool, squeeze dry and chop. Add dressing: 1/4 c. soy sauce, 2 t. sugar, 2 T. peanut or vegetable oil, Optional: 2 T. sesame seeds (lightly toasted in a dry skillet and then crushed) and 1/2 t. toasted sesame oil. This is enough dressing for about 1 1/2 pounds of spinach.
Credit: Cook out of the Box 2010 - Week 1
Spinach Casserole (4 servings)
One bunch or bag of spinach (1/2 to 1 pound)
1/2 cup chopped onion or 4 chopped scallions (green onions)
One T finely minced fresh green garlic
2 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup fresh parsley (optional)
1/3 cup milk
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (You could substitute grated swiss cheese)
1/2 t. salt, black pepper to taste
Cook spinach in a small amount of water for about 5 minutes. Cool, squeeze dry and chop. Saute about 1/2 cup of onions and the garlic until soft. Beat 4 eggs. Mix spinach in a bowl with rice, onions, eggs and seasonings. Bake at 350 degrees until firm and lightly browned - about 30 minutes.
Credit: Cook out of the Box 2010 - Week 2
Chickpea and Spinach Curry
Saute some chopped onion (add some carrot or potato or both if you have some) and red bell pepper in clarified butter or oil for a few minutes, then add your favorite curry spices. You can use a plain generic curry powder or a curry paste (can be found in cans in Asian markets). Many cookbooks have lists of various spices that can be combined in a curry, including things like turmeric, coriander, mustard seed and cayenne. After spices have cooked in the oil for 5 minutes or so, add fresh spinach. You can include stems and leaves, whole or coarsely chopped. Add chickpeas - about 1/2 cup per desired number of servings. If you have coconut milk, it is a great addition to a curry. If not, water or stock will also do. Add your chosen liquid. Cover and cook over medium low heat until flavors are blended and vegetables are tender. Serve over rice with raita on the side. You can garnish with some chopped peanuts for extra protein and flavor (and calories!)
Credit: Cook out of the Box 2010 - Week 4
Spinach Waldorf Salad
(Note - all amounts are flexible - vary as desired)
Wash and dry fresh spinach leaves - about 2 loosely packed cups per serving.
For each serving, prepare 1/3 cup sliced or chopped fresh apple, 1 T. raisins, 2 T. sliced celery and 1 T toasted walnuts. Optional - 1 T. blue or feta cheese or other favorite crumbling cheese.
Dressing - enough for 4 servings. Combine 1/2 cup plain yogurt and 1/4 cup mayonnaise. Add 1 t. sugar and 1 t. lemon juice. Add 1 T. fresh mint or parsley if available. Finely chopped scallion or chives is also a good addition.
Combine spinach and vegetables with dressing. Serve. Not the best salad for storing, due to the presence of cut up apple.
Credit: Cook out of the Box 2010 - Week 17
Potato Garlic Spinach Soup
Ingredients: potatoes (about 8 oz. per person), 1 t. chopped green garlic per serving, spinach - about 12 leaves per person, milk or cream, butter, salt and pepper
Peel and chop potatoes. Chop garlic. Saute in butter about 5 minutes, add water about 1 cup per serving. Cover and simmer until potatoes are soft. Mash potatoes coarsely, add spinach, milk or cream and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grated Parmesan.
Credit: Cook out of the Box 2011 - Week 1
Spinach Radish Rice Salad
Ingredients - rice, radishes, spinach, toasted sesame seeds, asian vinaigrette dressing. Nice additions - thinly sliced green or red bell peppers, sliced scallions or spring onions, toasted almonds, green peas or edamame soybeans.
Cook rice and cool - enough for about 1 cup per serving. Sushi rice would be nice in this dish. Or brown rice. Wash and dry spinach. Stack leaves and slice in thin strips. Thinly slice radishes. Mix rice, radishes, spinach and toasted sesame seeds in proportions that appeal to you. Make Asian vinaigrette: 2 t. finely chopped green garlic, 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, 1/3 cup salad oil, 2 T. toasted sesame oil, 2 T. rice vinegar (or a little more to taste), about 2 t. sugar or to taste, 2 t. soy sauce. Adjust vinaigrette ingredients to your taste. Toss rice and vegetables with dressing. This amount of dressing should be plenty for 4 servings. Save any leftovers for green salad.
Credit: Cook out of the Box 2011 - Week 1
Spinach Rice Dill Gratin
Per serving, you will need the following:
1 cup cooked rice (Brown is most nutritious. You could also use another cooked grain like quinoa or barley.)
1 cup gently packed fresh spinach
1/4 cup chopped onion - plus a little garlic if you want
1 t. dried dillweed (More if you are using fresh)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese or cottage cheese (optional)
Saute onion until soft, add spinach and saute a few minutes until wilted. Stir in all other ingredients. Pour into shallow, greased baking dish (large or individual sized) and bake at 350 degrees until firm in the center.
Credit: Cook out of the Box 2011 - Week 2