Spinach in the Kitchen: Buying, Storing and Serving
We are really fortunate these days to be able to buy fresh spinach in so many convenient forms. Perhaps quickest and easiest are the bags of pre-washed baby spinach that can simply be microwaved in the bag. They take just a minute or two to prepare. Add a dash of grated lemon rind and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and you’ve got a terrific side dish. Spinach can also be eaten raw in salads.
Buy bagged greens carefully, checking for the expiration dates as some can spoil quickly. Check for any dark soggy leaves as they indicate the greens are past their prime. When storing them at home, don’t cram them into the refrigerator drawers; this will damage the leaves and lead to early rotting. Try to place them where they won’t get banged too badly.
Fresh loose spinach is widely available too and is always a good choice. Just be sure to check for fresh, sweet-smelling leaves. As spinach will only keep for two or three days in the fridge, plan accordingly. Don’t wash loose spinach until ready to serve. Loose spinach can be quite sandy so wash carefully in a few changes of clean cold water.
Here are a few tips on how to get some more spinach nutrition in your life:
- Steamed spinach makes a great side dish. Try making extra for dinner and eat some for lunch with a dash of dressing or just some lemon juice.
- Don’t forget to add spinach and its sidekicks to salads regularly. Baby spinach is great as is; larger leaves are usually better shredded.
- Add greens to soups and casseroles. There are some great soup recipes that include greens. If you find a recipe you like and it doesn’t include greens, just be daring and try adding them in.
- Dress up steamed or sautéed greens with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds or pine nuts.
- Add spinach instead of lettuce to your sandwiches.