A Lot to Like About Spinach | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 03 January 2013 12:40

010313fPopeye was the best thing that ever happened to the spinach industry. During the 1930s and 1940s, millions of kids, who wouldn’t touch lima beans or peas, wanted spinach, especially if it was from a can.

Besides being healthy (rich in nutrients, low in calories), spinach is delicious as a main course or a side dish. It goes well with all kinds of foods and is available fresh year-round.

Look for bright-green, unwilted leaves. Once at home, wrap spinach in paper towels and store in a plastic bag in your refrigerator’s crisper.

SPINACH-CRANBERRY SALAD

1 tablespoon butter

3/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered

1 pound spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces

1 cup dried cranberries

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1/2 cup sugar

2teaspoons minced onion

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

Melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and let cool.

Whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, and vegetable oil. Toss with spinach just before serving.

In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds and cranberries. Serves 8.

SPINACH CASSEROLE

1 (10 3/4-oz) can Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Celery Soup

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 (10-oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained

2 cups cubed cooked chicken

2/3 cup orzo pasta, cooked and drained

1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend

Stir the soup, water, oregano, black pepper, spinach, chicken and pasta in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Cover the baking dish.

Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbling. Sprinkle with the cheese. Serves 4.

SPINACH & COTTAGE CHEESE CASSEROLE

1 cup cottage cheese

3 eggs

3 tablespoons flour

1/4 pound cheddar cheese

1 pkg. leaf spinach (frozen)

3 tablespoons butter

Salt to taste

Mix cottage cheese, eggs, flour, salt and half of the cheddar cheese, and stir. Pour into greased casserole dish. Thaw leaf spinach only long enough to cut into 4 pieces, triangle shape. Put the rest of cheese on top, being sure to spread cheese along edges and between spinach. Dot with butter. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350°F. Serves 4.

SPINACH & BACON QUICHE

6 large eggs, beaten

1-1/2 cups heavy cream

Salt and pepper

2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach, packed

1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled

1-1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust, fitted to a 9-inch glass pie plate

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Combine eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender. Layer the spinach, bacon and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, then pour the egg mixture on top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the egg mixture is set. Cut into 8 wedges. Yields 8 servings.

SPINACH-CRANBERRY SALAD

1 tablespoon butter

3/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered

1 pound spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces

1 cup dried cranberries

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons minced onion

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

Melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, let cool.

Whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar and vegetable oil. Toss with spinach just before serving.

In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds and cranberries. Serves 8.

WARM SPINACH SALAD

1/2 cup pecan halves

6 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 cups grape tomatoes

1/3 cup white-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

2 to 3 bunches (1-1/2 pounds total) flat-leaf spinach, trimmed, cleaned, and dried

Coarse salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread pecans on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast in oven until golden and fragrant, 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons fat from skillet.

Add onion to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, vinegar and sugar; simmer until liquid thickens slightly and tomatoes are heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Place spinach in a large bowl, and pour hot tomato-onion mixture over; toss quickly to coat and wilt spinach.

Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with reserved pecans and bacon.

SPINACH SAUTÉED WITH GARLIC

1-1/2 pounds baby spinach leaves

2tablespoons olive oil

6 cloves chopped garlic

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon butter

Lemon

Rinse the spinach well in cold water making sure it’s clean. Spin it dry in a salad spinner, leaving just a little water clinging to the leaves.

In a  large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic over medium heat for about 1 minute, but not until it’s browned. Add all the spinach, salt and pepper to the pot; toss it with the garlic and oil, cover the pot, and cook it for 2 minutes.

Uncover the pot, turn the heat on high, and cook the spinach for another minute, stirring with a wooden spoon, until all the spinach is wilted. Using a slotted spoon, lift the spinach to a serving bowl and top with the butter, a squeeze of lemon and, if you like, a sprinkling of sea salt. Serve hot. Yields 4 servings.

 

 


 

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