Spinach isn’t one of my favorite vegetables. I like it more than I did several years ago, especially once I learned how to cook it. I still don’t care for the frozen variety, for me, the taste isn’t a pleasing one (almost grassy, in my opinion) and the texture feels stingy when I chew, even the chopped kind. Fresh spinach on the other hand, has a pleasant enough taste, the texture is lovely, and no grassy notes when eaten raw or cooked.
If you haven’t tried fresh spinach yet here are some tips for getting the best tasting, freshest spinach. In my local grocery store I have yet to find it lose, it always in a plastic bag or container. If this is the case in your area, check the sell by date. Flip the bag or container around, you’re looking for wet leaves. Wetness indicates that the spinach is beginning to spoil. The leaves should be dry, dark green and appear a slightly leathery.
If eating spinach is new to you, start by eating it mixed with a lettuce you like in salads or on a sandwich or in a wrap. The taste isn’t as mild as lettuce and may take a while to cultivate. It took me several months to develop my current level liking for spinach.
Another issue that will affect your cultivating a taste for spinach is how you cook it. I have found that many people over cook this vegetable. Over cooking spinach, as well as many other veggies, make them mushy and destroys many of the vitamins and minerals they provide. Spinach should be cooked until the color is bright green and slightly wilted.
- One package raw, fresh spinach
- 2 shallots or 1/4 small red onion
- 10 button mushrooms, washed and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons white wine
- olive oil
- 2 teaspoons garlic,
- 1 teaspoon butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
Over medium heat in a large skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil and sauté shallots until tender. Add mushrooms, wine, and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add the butter and stir till melted, add the spinach and cook until the spinach is bright green and slightly wilted. Remove from heat and season to taste. Spinach cooks down quite a bit, so if you’re cooking for a family you may need to double this recipe.
If you have children, no need to worry about the white wine, the alcohol cooks off and all you have left is the flavor. If you feel you must leave it out, then do, to compensate for the less complex taste, add an additional 1/2 teaspoon of butter and sprinkle with a bit of parmesan cheese just before serving while the spinach is till hot.