Big Field of Greens
October 28, 2008 8:54 PM   Subscribe

Due to an unfortunate mixup at the bulk food emporium, I find myself in possession of a metric buttload of spinach. Help me use it with your favorite spinach recipes.

I have many, many pounds of spinach. More than I can give away. More than I can use in my daily spinach salads or in omelettes, or stir-fry, or rice. I'm open to all kinds of dishes, any ethnicity or spice level. The only thing I cannot abide is cinnamon. I have access to recipes on the interbot, but would like something that you have tried and loved rather than my own trial and error.
posted by *s to Food & Drink (32 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
I add a handful to my smoothies, makes them a nice Hulk green. Plus, the other smoothie ingredients mask that awful, awful spinach taste...
posted by wfrgms at 8:57 PM on October 28, 2008

You can juice it, freeze the juice in ice cube trays and use it to veg up soups. You can also mix the juice with something sweet like carrot or beet juice [warning: color is horrible] and it's pretty tasty esp with a little pepper tossed in there.
posted by jessamyn at 8:58 PM on October 28, 2008

If you like indian food, saag is delicious and will use a ton of it.
posted by fritley at 9:01 PM on October 28, 2008

This Spinach Lasagna Rollup recipe doesn't use a lot of spinach, but is quite tasty.
posted by shinynewnick at 9:07 PM on October 28, 2008

Freeze it! Frozen vegetables can be tasty and they don't loose all of their vitamins.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 9:14 PM on October 28, 2008

Saag Aloo

I'm gonna show you how much I love you by writing up MY recipe.

Cube a bunch of yukon gold potatoes, (or whatever, but those are the BEST) and boil them in salted water that has a good teaspoon of turmeric in it. I would say oner small potato per pound to two pounds of spinach. This is a spinach dish.

Drain them when soft, set them aside, and put on some Daler Mehndi music or it won't turn out right at ALL.

Sautee a bunch of (fresh or don't bother, not bothering is fine) ginger and (who ever heard of fresh) cumin and garam masala and finely diced onion in ghee or butter, till the onions are translucent. Don't underdo the cumin, unless you hate cumin in which case, stop reading, we aren't friends.

Add the spinach and cook till it wilts. Now, you can either chop it first, or food-process it after it's wilted. Or some workaround. Wevs. Point is, nobody likes long stemmy Saag Aloo.

Return to heat, in any case. Add cream or half and half, like, a hlaf cup or so for a big wokful of spinach, stir and simmer a bit, and add potatoes back in. Add salt to taste.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:16 PM on October 28, 2008 [35 favorites]

Saute it down (it will reduce quite a bit) with garlic and shallots, salt, pepper. Let the water drain out. You can freeze it or use it right away. Make quiche, lasagna, pasta, pizza, omelets, paninis, et cetera.
posted by BradNelson at 9:16 PM on October 28, 2008

Whenever I have more greens than I can use, I just blanch them and freeze them. It's almost a waste to do spinach like this, since (bought) frozen spinach is quite good and much cheaper and easier, but it's much better than letting it rot.

Also, Alton Brown's spinach salad recipe is my favorite.
posted by rossination at 9:17 PM on October 28, 2008

Yeah, I second saag. Here's a pretty good recipe. You don't have to make it with chicken -- potatoes, chickpeas, shrimp, pork, or paneer (Indian cheese) will work just as well. Saag freezes very well, so make a ton of it before the spinach goes bad, portion it into baggies, and freeze for instant meals later on. This is what I always do to get rid of excess spinach!

I also like to eat it like this, lightly sauteed with some garlic and olive oil. It makes a fast and tasty side dish for things like meat dishes and sandwiches. Creamed spinach is also a wonderfully warm and filling side dish, especially nice when it's cold out. I always use the recipe from Joy of Cooking, if you have it.
posted by vorfeed at 9:18 PM on October 28, 2008


Spinach leaves
Cooled pasta, rigatoni or penne is good (pasta shapes anyway)
diced sun-dried tomatoes
pan roasted pine nuts (chopped pecans or walnuts also do well, but tend to fight with the tomato so use less)

mix together in the proportions you like

drizzle ev olive oil before serving.
posted by mattoxic at 9:19 PM on October 28, 2008

Spinach is very tasty and wilts down to considerably smaller when added to pasta. I usually cook the pasta while simmering some kind of sauce (red, alfredo, olive oil & garlic & onions, whatev.) in a wide fry pan. When the pasta's done and drained, stir it into the sauce and pile on as much spinach as you can fit on top of everything. Cover and keep it over low heat for 2-5 minutes until the spinach wilts down, then stir it in. Yum.

Also, my mom makes a mean wilted spinach salad that uses hot bacon dressing for the wilting action. I don't have the recipe, but I've seen similar things all over the internet if you feel like googling. I think she usually includes some nuts, too.
posted by vytae at 9:35 PM on October 28, 2008

I just used most of a big bucket of spinach on this soup today.

Green Soup

Maybe 2 onions
A little neutral oil
2-3 medium-ish potatoes
Stock or a 50-50 combo of broth and water
A good chunk of a metric buttload of spinach
Cream (coffee, whipping or light)
Salt, pepper and nutmeg

In a large pot, gently sweat the diced onions in oil with a little salt. Once they're translucent, add a few diced potatoes (for body) and enough liquid to cover by 2 inches. Bring soup to a boil, then simmer until onions and potatoes are tender.

Now fill the pot with as much spinach as you can stuff in, even though it's above the liquid level. It will cook down. (Baby spinach can be put in whole, while mature spinach should be coarsely chopped, stems removed.) Once you have pushed all the spinach into the liquid, let the soup simmer for a few more minutes until the spinach is reduced and cooked through.

Puree with an immersion blender, or in a real blender. Grate a hell of a lot of nutmeg, to taste, into the soup. Add some fresh pepper. Taste, then adjust seasonings.

Add cream a little at a time, stirring constantly. Maybe half a cup is plenty, maybe you like your soup thinner and more dairylicious. Adjust seasonings again if needed.
posted by maudlin at 9:41 PM on October 28, 2008 [2 favorites]

Puree then freeze. Then all of the above but MOSTLY sag daal until you burst.
posted by unSane at 9:46 PM on October 28, 2008

Yes, do keep in mind that it wilts down to considerably smaller size when cooked.

Don't have a recipe on hand, but look for spanakopita (very tasty and quite easy greek spinach pie thing) and also lasagna where you can use ricotta and spinach as one of the layers with pasta and tomato-based sauce.
posted by AnnaRat at 10:05 PM on October 28, 2008

Slice up a potato, and put it in the oven at 400 degrees, with some non-cook spray. After about ten minutes, flip the slices, and continue with these next steps. Cut your spinach (a good three-four handfuls for one person, since it shrinks so much and you want a good sized portion after cooking) into pieces that will be easy to eat. Saute with a bit of garlic, add salt and pepper. Put the spinach aside. In the same pan, fry an egg. Your potato slices should be ready by now. Then assemble on a plate: potato, then spinach on top of that, then the egg on top of that. Dig in, let the egg ooze all over the spinach and potato, and eat your quick, healthy, spinach-y dinner in front of the television. (I also like blobbing on some HP Sauce, but i love HP Sauce, so that could just be me.)

This recipe uses up a lot of spinach, considering that it's a one-person meal.
posted by Kololo at 10:20 PM on October 28, 2008 [2 favorites]

I use spinach all the time on pizza and people love it.

Make the dough using this recipe (I use a bread machine):

1 cup water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cups flour
1-1/4 tsp yeast

You might have to play with that a bit to get it right with your machine or if making it by hand. Wait for your dough to rise. Preheat an oven and pizza stone (what you don't have one!) to 500F. Shape the dough into a very thin pizza crust (I just use a rolling pin). Don't worry, it doesn't need to be a circle. Dust one side with a bit of flour and throw it flour side down onto the pizza stone. Coat the dough with some olive oil. Add lots of freshly chopped garlic, thinly sliced red sweet onion, steamed spinach, fresh basil, parsley, and oregano can be nice, then goat cheese, and freshly shredded parmesan and romano cheese. Top it off with some halved cherry tomatoes and procuitto or half cooked bacon. Put all this back in the oven to your desired cooked-ness (me I only do it max 10 minutes). When I make it, I use a fair bit of spinach. No one seems to care, not even the hardcore meat eaters. I've also served vegetarian and vegan versions and it was also well received.
posted by xmattxfx at 10:25 PM on October 28, 2008

Spinach bread!

Get a few big submarine rolls (I usually use two).
Provolone cheese (more or less depending on how much you like cheese), cut into pieces.
Garlic, minced.

Tin foil

Wilt the spinach in the microwave and drain the water, pat dry with a towel or paper towels.

Slice the bread as if you were making a sub/hoagie/whatever, and butter it. Mix sliced provolone and garlic together, sprinkle on the bread. Place wilted spinach on top of the cheese/garlic mixture and close the bread.

Wrap the entire thing in a layer of tin foil and place in an oven at about 300F for 20 minutes or so, until the cheese is melted. Slice and enjoy :)
posted by Verdandi at 10:56 PM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

Cook it down with Olive Oil, Garlic, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs. It is surprisingly delicious, works great as a side dish for almost anything and also works very well tossed with pasta. We would fill a large frying pan heaping with spinach, and it would cook down to half the frying pan filled (to give you a sort of metric to see if it has cooked down enough).
posted by miscbuff at 12:44 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

italian classics: blanch spinach for a few minutes in boiling water (until they're a bit al dente, drain, squeeze and chop finely or process (you can saute them with a bit of butter before that: you want them dry), mix in a bowl with strained fresh ricotta, salt, black pepper, a dash of nutmeg, perhaps a few leaves of marjoram if you have it, a generous sprinkle of grated parmesan (the real stuff), egg(s) to get a creamy but firm paste (you can add a bit of flour if it's too runny).

Use the white/greenish concoction to fill ravioli, or a quiche (if so, you can add more eggs), or lasagne, roll (twice) in beaten eggs&breadcrumbs and deep-fry it (you'll need it a bit firmer), cook in a pan or in the oven with a generous amount of butter until golden, or mix with flour until you have a very soft but workable dough, which you'll roll in small gnocchi and cook a few minutes (until they surface) in boiling water; season with molten butter and chopped sage.

If you feel like preparing fresh noodles (for 'yellow' pasta the regular dose for 1 person is 1 egg for 100g flour) you can add a handful of finely chopped spinach (say, 30g) and further 30g of flour, and get green tagliatelle/fettuccine/lasagne.

One of the house favourites is the same cooked spinach, sauted in a little butter with a finely chopped onion, a diced, boiled small potato and used as a spread with cream cheese (if you can find stracchino or crescenza, you're all set) in a hot wheat flatbread of some sort.
posted by _dario at 12:52 AM on October 29, 2008

Steam it and toss with red wine vinegar and toasted sesame seeds.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 5:15 AM on October 29, 2008

My favorite spinach recipe--works well with frozen spinach, too. Steam it and press the excess water out. Let it cool a bit and add rice wine vinegar, a bit of soy sauce or tamari, and toasted sesame oil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and finely chopped green onion. Gobble down.
posted by marmot at 6:34 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Spinach is so awesome.


You don't need to fret.

Just wash, pat, divvy up into baggies of manageable sizes and freeze.

Unfreeze and use as needed - into 2010.

From soups to knishes to pates to souffles's.

posted by watercarrier at 6:39 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

This is a regular favorite in my house. It's a slight modification of this recipe.

Spinach, Feta and Tomato Pasta
  • 8oz./250g of penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup onions
  • 1 clove of fresh garlic, minced
  • 3 cups of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups of spinach (I usually use a box of frozen spinach for this if I don't want to do it fresh.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8oz./220g of feta cheese, crumbled
  • Use salted water to boil your pasta until al dente, then drain it.
  • Pour olive oil in a pan until the pan bottom is lightly coated. Add onion and garlic and cook at medium-high heat until both are light/golden brown. Add spinach, tomatoes, and salt and pepper; cook for 2 minutes or so. Reduce heat, and stir in pasta and feta cheese. Stir to mix and cook until cheese is melted.

posted by metalheart at 7:19 AM on October 29, 2008

I like to throw a BIG handful of spinach into lentil recipe, I just follow the guidelines on the bag o' lentils. (And sub liquid smoke for the ham/bacon, since I'm married to a vegetarian.)
posted by JoanArkham at 7:36 AM on October 29, 2008

JapaneseFoodFilter! is one recipe for horenso no goma ae, which is a delicious spinach-with-sesame-dressing thing.
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:12 AM on October 29, 2008

Creamed spinach with a whole lot of shallots or onions. Here's a good recipe.
posted by rmless at 8:29 AM on October 29, 2008

I mix mine with ricotta cheese, wrap in puff pastry, and slice bits off for lunch throughout the week.
posted by mippy at 10:36 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

palek paneer. yummmmmmmmmmm!
posted by slograffiti at 2:30 PM on October 29, 2008

Super Cook may also help you with this. Put in the ingredients you have, and volia! they give you recipes that include those ingredients.
posted by slograffiti at 2:32 PM on October 29, 2008

I like to make this for Thanksgiving dinner with frozen spinach, because it's easy. Sorry, I don't have measured amounts; I eyeball it. I'm sure it's much better starting with fresh:

Blanch an assload of chopped spinach, stems removed, for 1 minute in boiling water. Drain.

In a saucepan, melt together equal parts butter and cream cheese. Let's say about 1/4 to 1/2 cup per 12-16 oz of uncooked spinach.

Combine the butter-cream cheese mixture and the blanched spinach in a glass casserole dish. (Not a 9x13 though--that's too big.)

Top with fresh grated parmiggiano-reggiano. NOT the powdery stuff from the green can.

On top of that, a generous handful of chopped pecans, walnuts, or toasted pine nuts.

Pop the whole thing in the oven at 350 for 15 or 20 minutes or whatever. You just need to warm it up and melt the cheese on top.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 3:56 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Here's yet another great saag recipe. The cashews add a really nice flavor.

Something I've been enjoying lately:
Saute a couple of shallots in butter, maybe adding some garlic.
When they become translucent, add a bunch of spinach.
While the spinach is cooking, combine about 1/4 cup of yogurt (whole or 2%--nonfat won't work as well), 1-2 tablespoons of dijon mustard, some minced garlic, some salt and pepper, and maybe a few herbs.
Add the mixture to the spinach when it is almost done cooking, and stir until it is thoroughly mixed in with the spinach and most of the liquid has evaporated.

The basic pattern (onions/garlic/shallots + spinach + herbs and spices + something to form a flavorful sauce) can lead to all sorts of interesting variations.

Plain sauteed spinach is good with soy sauce and a bit of lemon juice. And if you like that, you should absolutely try the Horenso No Goma-Ae recipe that DoctorFedora linked to. The trick there is to squeeze all the water out of the spinach and replace it with other delicious things.
posted by moss at 8:58 PM on October 29, 2008 [2 favorites]

How has the thread come so far without anyone mentioning spanokopita?

Mix spinach with feta, egg and flour. Layer between sheets of phyllo pastry. Bake. Enjoy. Not as healthy as a salad, but delicious, warm and crispy.

I'm on my phone else I would link you my preferred recipe - I'll come back tonight and paste it in.
posted by subbes at 6:58 AM on October 31, 2008

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