How to Cook: How to Cook Spinach 2 min!
How to Prepare Spinach
Spinach is a green leafy vegetable that is rich in iron. It's not just for Popeye — spinach can be enjoyed by anyone, whether it's cooked or raw. You can put spinach in a salad or a smoothie, boil it, sauté it, or even cream it, in order to make the most of this simple and tasty vegetable. If you want to know how to prepare spinach, see Step 1 to be on your way.
Getting Your Spinach Ready
Select healthy spinach.Browse the spinach section at the store or farmer's market for bunches with dark green, fresh leaves. Don't get a bunch with yellow, wilted, bruised, or mushy leaves.It's important to select fresh spinach so that it can last long enough to be part of a tasty meal. At the grocery store, most of the spinach you find will already be separated from its stems and will be in a sealed bag. At the farmer's market, most spinach will come in a nice leafy bunch.
- The most common type of spinach is smooth-leafed spinach, which has flat, smooth leaves that are perfect for cleaning.
- Savoy spinach handles the cold better than other types of spinach. However, its leaves are deeply crinkled, making it harder to wash the soil and grit away from the leaves.
- Baby spinach is simply spinach that is plucked after 15-20 days of growth while regular spinach is plucked after 45-60 days of growth. Baby spinach has more tender leaves and is better used in salads, while adult spinach is better for cooking.
Store the spinach in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.It can be stored this way for 3 days.If you've purchased the type of spinach in a sealed bag, make sure that you keep it closed tight with a clip after you've opened it so that the remaining spinach remains fresh. If you don't plan on using it right away, then you should store it until you're ready to use it. You shouldn't wash or dry it until you're ready to cook it, or it will wilt.
Remove the stems from the spinach.If your spinach is still attached to its thick stems, then you should cut off the stems using a knife or kitchen shears. You can use a paring knife for extra accuracy. Though the stems are still edible, they're a little tough and unpleasant to the taste, and your spinach leaves will be tastier without them.
Clean the leaves with running water to remove any soil particles.Many times, spinach has dirt in it that can make it taste gritty. If you purchased spinach in a bag that is sealed and states that it's been washed, then you can still wash it to be safe, but you don't have to take as many precautions as you would with spinach from the market. Here's how you can go about washing the spinach:
- Separate the leaves.
- Run your hand down the rib to separate the leafy bit from the stem. This is optional. Some people like to eat the stems.
- Put the leaves into a bowl of water, swish them around, and drain the water.
- Repeat until all soil has been removed.
Dry your spinach.You should wait for your spinach to dry before cooking it — unless you're boiling it anyway. You can toss it in a colander and then leave it out for 10 minutes and wait for it to dry or you can even gently pat it with paper towels. Just make sure you do this carefully so you don't end up mushing the spinach together. Once it's dry, you should start cooking it as soon as you can to avoid having it wilt.
Cooking the Spinach
Boil the spinach.One of the easiest ways to cook your spinach is to simply boil it. You can boil it and enjoy it on its own, or boil it as a first step to creaming it. Here's all you have to do to boil your spinach:
- Place the spinach in a large pot of boiling water.
- Cook it for 3-5 minutes.
- Place it in ice water to "shock" it and give it a nice green color and then drain it again (optional).
- Place it in a serving dish and gently drizzle it with olive oil.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
Sauté the spinach.Sautéing is one of the most common methods of cooking spinach. All you need to do it besides 2 bunches of spinach is some olive oil, 2 cloves of sliced garlic (optional), and salt and pepper to taste. Here's what you should do:
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and cook it for about 30 seconds, or until it's fragrant.
- Add one bunch of spinach and cook it for one minutes, until begins to wilt. Turn it with tongs as you cook it.
- Add the other bunch of spinach and continue cooking it for 2-3 minutes until all of the spinach is wilted.
- Season it with salt and pepper to taste.
Cream the spinach.Creaming spinach is an excellent way to make your spinach dish more rich, hearty, and delicious. You can enjoy this dish on its own or serve it with steak, chicken, or another protein of your choice. You'll need the following ingredients: 24 ounces of spinach, 1 stick of butter, 8 tablespoons of flour, 1/2 diced medium onion, 3 minced cloves of garlic, 2 cups of milk, and salt and pepper to taste. Here's what you need to do to cream spinach:
- Melt one stick of butter in a heavy pot.
- Sprinkle the flour into the butter and whisk the ingredients together.
- Cook the flour and butter over medium heat for five minutes.
- Add the diced onion and minced garlic and stir the ingredients together for 1 more minute.
- Pour in the milk and whisk the ingredients continuously for another 5 minutes.
- Sautée the spinach in a separate pan. Follow instructions for sauteing above (without the additional garlic).
- Season the cream sauce with salt and pepper to taste and add the spinach to it.
- Stir the spinach and cream sauce gently until you've fully combined them.
Bake the spinach.Baked spinach, like creamed spinach, is another rich and hearty preparation method for spinach. This method also has the bonus of rich, cheesy goodness. Here are all the ingredients you'll need to make it: 1/2 cup chopped onion, 2 tablespoons of butter, 2 packages of spinach, 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, 1/3 cup milk, 5 divided tablespoons of shredded Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Here's how you bake it:
- Sautée the onion in butter for 2-3 minutes, until the onion is tender.
- Stir in the spinach, milk, and cream.
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in 4 tablespoons of cheese, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper.
- Spoon the mixture into a greased 1 quart baking dish.
- Sprinkle it with the remaining cheese.
- Bake the spinach uncovered at 350°F (176°C) for 40-45 minutes or until the cheese is lightly browned.
Preparing the Spinach Raw
Make a spinach and strawberry salad.A spinach and strawberry salad is a simple and nutritious dish that doesn't require you to cook the spinach at all. All you need are the following ingredients: 1 package of spinach, 10 fresh strawberries, 1/2 cup slivered almonds, 1/2 chopped medium red onion, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Here's all you need to do to make it:
- Chop the red onion.
- Quarter the strawberries.
- Toss the onion, strawberries, almonds, and spinach together.
- Mix 1/4 cup balsamic, 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and salt and pepper to taste to make a dressing.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss it.
Make a spinach salad with figs and feta.This sweet salad is perfect for a summer afternoon, a picnic, or as a side dish for any meal. All you have to do is combine 1 package of spinach, 1/2 cup of crumbled or diced feta cheese, 10-15 quartered figs, 1/2 cup of pecans, and 1 cup of grapes. Add some simple balsamic dressing, or a raspberry vinaigrette if you're feeling fancy, and your salad is all done — no cooking necessary!
Make a spinach smoothie.Spinach can add a healthy, delicious flavor to any vegetable or fruit smoothie. In general, all you have to do to make a smoothie with spinach is to add spinach as well as whatever other ingredients you'd like to use to a blender and blend them until they're smooth. Here are some ingredients you can use to make a spinach and pear smoothie:
- 1 1/2 cups water or coconut water
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 chopped ripe pear
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon honey
QuestionI bought cooking spinach. Can I make a salad with it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. You can have a healthy salad. You could add tomatoes, cucumbers, or anything of your choice.Thanks!
QuestionDo I have to cook spinach to put it in a salad, or can I eat it as it is from the shop?Top AnswererSpinach can be washed and eaten in salad. Baby Spinach leaves make terrific salad. Ordinary spinach is a bit over powering for salad; you have to choose other ingredients that can stand up to it. Baby spinach can be used in place of most salad greens.Thanks!
Must I remove the stem when cooking spinach?
Can you freeze spinach after boiling?
To prepare spinach, start by cutting off the stems with a knife or kitchen shears, and rinsing the leaves under running water to remove any soil particles. Alternatively, place the leaves in a bowl of water, swish them around to dislodge the dirt, then drain the water. Afterwards, dry the spinach by patting it gently with paper towels, or letting it sit in a colander for 10 minutes. Once it’s dry, make sure to cook the spinach as soon as possible to keep it from wilting.
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Video: How To Wash And Prepare Spinach.
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