• Spinach
Spinach
Tender and nutritious spinach leaves add freshness to spring cooking - serve as a side dish, or add to salad bowls for colour and flavour.
Use mild-flavoured leaves in salads, or more mature late summer and autumnal varieties in soups and stews.

Like many leafy vegetables, it's been rough-handled in the past. Overcooked and watery leaves haven't done it any favours either. The trick is in quick cooking methods, which retain maximum freshness.

In the shops
It's worth buying bunches of spinach in markets rather than ready-packed varieties. Although washing the leaves does take time, you'll find its taste and price makes it a worthwhile purchase. Pre-washed leaves should also be rinsed at home before cooking - this washes away any soapy or chemical residue left over from processing.

Fresh spinach should be a vibrant dark green - discard and wilting, bruised or yellowing leaves.

Store the leaves in the fridge and use within a day or two after buying, to preserve its fresh flavour and nutrients.

Its leaves contain a huge amount of water - 500g will cook down to barely 3 tablespoons.

Spinach beet, an alternative name for chard, is actually a type of beetroot cultivated for its leaves rather than its bulb.

In the kitchen
The best way to cook spinach down is in olive oil, rather than plunging the leaves in boiling water. This way, more of the natural flavour is retained. Try adding a few toasted pine nuts and a sprinkling of raisins for a sweet, nutty contrast to the leaves.

Versatile and tasteful, spinach combines well with other ingredients - notables include dairy products - cream and cheese, and eggs.

Great in pasta dishes, flans and stuffing, spinach is also popular in Greek-style pies made with filo pastry, try combining it with Feta cheese.

Mushrooms, garlic and chillies are just a few other flavour combinations that work particularly well. One of the best fish pairings is with smoked haddock and spinach.

A grate of nutmeg in purees and soups enhances its natural sweetness.

Did you know...
Spinach is sometimes used to make fillings for sweet Italian pies, where it's combined with eggs, honey, spices and almonds.

Related recipes

 
Italian spinach salad
Italian spinach salad
By Matt Dawson

Try Matt Dawson's superquick Italian salad recipe with spinach, red onion and a chilli-laced dressing scattered with toasted pine nuts

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Watch video



easy

Total time
15 min

Spinach crêpes with cheese and ham
Spinach crêpes with cheese and ham
By Donal Skehan

Donal Skehan’s ham, spinach and cheese crêpes are made with spinach which mades the vibrant green pancakes that are really nice as a brunch or lunch dish

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Watch video



easy

Total time
30 min

Spinach soup with crème fraîche
Spinach soup with crème fraîche
By Allegra McEvedy

Popeye has his eye on Allegra McEvedy’s super food soup, which comes topped with a sprinkling of crispy pancetta

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Watch video



easy

Total time
50 min

Creamy spinach gnocchi
Creamy spinach gnocchi
By Donal Skehan

Donal Skehan’s creamy spinach gnocchi is spiked with chilli flakes for a quick dinner that’s full of flavour

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Watch video



easy

Total time
15 min

Lentils cooked with spinach and aromatic garlic
Lentils cooked with spinach and aromatic garlic
By Mallika Basu

This spinach and lentil dhal from Miss Masala packs a punch with garlic, cumin and chilli

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Watch video



easy

Total time
1 hr 30 min

Onion and spinach pakora with mango chutney
Onion and spinach pakora with mango chutney
on Perfect...

Aktar Islam puts together beautifully spiced battered balls of onion, potato and spinach served with fruity chutney

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Watch video



easy

Total time
30 min

Wild duck with lentils, spinach and mustard fruits
Wild duck with lentils, spinach and mustard fruits
on Market Kitchen

Ben Tish perfects the classic Italian combination of tangy mustard fruits and rich, gamey duck

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Watch video



easy

Total time
45 min

Spinach and cream cheese lasagne
Spinach and cream cheese lasagne
By Simon Rimmer on Simon Rimmer's Dinners

Tangy tomato sauce contrasts beautifully with the creaminess of Simon Rimmer's spinach-packed lasagne

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Watch video



easy

Total time
1 hr 20 min

Spinach, bacon and cheese frittata
Spinach, bacon and cheese frittata
By Rachel Allen on Rachel Allen's Everyday Kitchen

Rachel Allen’s frittata is a quick and easy dinner of eggs mixed with spinach, bacon, cheese and cream

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Watch video



easy

Total time
40 min

Spinach, pea and ricotta frittata
Spinach, pea and ricotta frittata
By Diana Henry on Market Kitchen

Whip up Diana Henry’s delicious vegetarian frittata for a quick and healthy supper

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Watch video



easy

Total time
1 hr