Spinach has a long history in European cuisine, dishes associated with it being referred to as ‘Florentine’ after a French queen in 1533. High in vitamins it can be enjoyed raw in salads or cooked, integrated into many dishes. Spinach should always be washed before using as it is notoriously gritty.
There are a number or ways in which to cook spinach. For a healthy option it can be quickly blanched in boiling salted water, and either refreshed in ice water or served straight away. The most common way to cook spinach is to gently wilt it in a pan with a little butter. Cream can also be added in this method for a much richer outcome.
Spinach can be added as an ingredient into many pies, quiches and soups such as Andy Waters Spinach soup with wild garlic toasts. It it used frequently in wellingtons and to stuff meat, for example, Galton Blackston’s Roast whole saddle of lamb with spinach and black pudding or Andy Waters’ Veggie Wellington. Andy waters serves it raw in his baby spinach and new potato salad.
Spinach also features often in Indian cooking, the most well know being Saag Aloo, a mixture of spinach, potatoes and spices. Alfred Prasad stuff his Aloo Tikki with spinach.