Tuesday, March 5, 2013
The Return of Greens, feat. Spinach
Spinach is here again after a deep winter dormancy, and it's now in full-swing. With the protection of our 30' x 48' Rolling Thunder Hoophouses, it was able to harvested into December after a September planting, left alone in January, and now we're all getting our iron again, and enjoying delicious spinach recipes (see below). You can get a great deal from us on a big bag of spinach at the Midcoast Winter Farmers Market in Topsham (Fridays 1-6 at the Fairground Exhibition Hall)), through the Kennebec Local Food Initiative online marketplace, the Long Branch Buying Club in Bowdoinham. It also available in bulk at Morning Glory Natural Foods in Brunswick. Our garlic and shallots are also available through all of those outlets right now.
Sauteed Spinach with shallots
1/2 lb fresh spinach
1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp ground coriander (or for, fullest flavor, use toasted, fresh-ground coriander seed)
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper to taste
Wash Spinach and allow to drain (a little water on the leaves will help it wilt).
Melt butter over medium heat. Add shallot, coriander, and red pepper flakes.
Saute 2-3 minutes.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add spinach, a handful at a time, tossing with tongs for a few seconds to allow to cook down a bit before adding the next handful. Cook, tossing or stirring, about 2 minutes until wilted and bright green.
Season to taste.
And, when the rich, nutty taste of spinach in butter, creamed spinach, spinach lasagna, spanikopita and so forth has satisfied you and you're wanting a change, as I was the other night, try it Mediterranean-style with lemon!
Sauteed Spinach with garlic and lemon
1/2 lb fresh spinach
2 Tbsp olive oil
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
juice of one lemon
Wash spinach and allow to drain (a little water on the leaves will help it wilt).
Saute garlic in oil over low heat for about 2 minutes. Add salt.
Increase heat to medium. Add spinach, a handful at a time, tossing with tongs for a few seconds to allow to cook down a little before adding the next handful. Cook, tossing or stirring, about 2 minutes until wilted and bright green.
Toss with lemon juice. Season to taste.
Spinach with lemon or vinegar could be thought of as a way of making the transition from hearty, rich winter fare to the cleansing aspect of springs greens prepared more lightly. It reminds us of eating beet greens or swiss chard with vinegar in the spring and summer. It's helpful to be able to change it up, flavor-wise, when spinach is the best (and only) green going! Soon we'll have many choices for salad and cooking greens. We'll keep you posted here.