There are already good fresh spinach on the market and we propose seven recipes to enjoy them to the fullest. This product is harvested in our country mainly between September and April, but since the leaves freeze perfectly, we can enjoy spinach throughout the year.
In addition to telling you about the nutritional characteristics and tips for using spinach, we have made a selection of original and surprising recipes with this ingredient that we are sure that you will like them a lot.
Taking advantage of that now we easily find fresh spinach leaves, as they are in their prime, we can prepare many healthy and tasty recipes that will brighten up your table and will always be good for you.
Spinach characteristics and tips for using them in recipes and preserving them
Spinach are leafy vegetables, which can be eaten both raw and cooked. They are rich in vitamins A, E and K, iodine and contain several antioxidants, although they have hardly any iron, no matter how much it was told in the Popeye the Sailor drawings.
In order to consume them raw, -only if they are fresh-, we have to wash them very well to remove the remains of earth and discard the leaves that are broken or in poor condition. With them we can make many salads, green juices and use them in other preparations that we now propose.
If they are frozen, we can use them directly without the need to defrost them, for cooking, creams, etc. bearing in mind that they will release a lot of water. Once cooked, -steamed or boiled- we must drain them very well. If we want to use them fried or sautéed, we must defrost them over a colander before using these cooking techniques.
1. Salmon in puff pastry with spinach cream
- Ingredients: 300 g of fresh salmon, 50 g of fresh spinach, 10 g of butter, milk, 200 ml, wheat flour, 10 g, chilled puff pastry, a griddle
- Elaboration: We start by chopping the spinach into very small pieces. In a frying pan, melt the butter and sauté the spinach a little until its volume is reduced by half. Add the flour and mix it with the spinach, stirring while it toasts a little. We are adding the whole milk very slowly while we stir. Little by little we make a thick bechamel that we let cool. Meanwhile, we prepare the fish, splitting the salmon loin into ingots of 100 gr each. Cut the puff pastry into pieces of approximately 20×15 cm and place the salmon loin in the center. We cover it with the spinach bechamel and close the puff pastry package forming an ingot. We make a hole in the upper part to act as a fireplace and we varnish with beaten egg. Bake at 200º for about 15 minutes until the packages are golden brown.
See full recipe | Salmon in puff pastry with cream of spinach
2. Malfatti, Italian Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Dumplings
- Ingredients: 500 g of fresh spinach, 300 g ricotta or cottage cheese, 1 egg, Parmesan cheese, 60 g, ground black pepper, salt, ground nutmeg, wheat flour, 120 g, homemade tomato sauce, 200 g and fresh oregano ( optional)
- Elaboration: We wash and drain the spinach thoroughly, place them in a saucepan without any water or oil. Cover and cook in its own steam for eight minutes, over low heat. We drain all the water that they have been able to absorb and chop very finely with a knife. We mix the ricotta cheese with the egg, add the chopped spinach and the grated Parmesan. Season with salt, ground black pepper and ground nutmeg to taste. We stir well before adding the flour and mix until obtaining a homogeneous dough. Once everything is well integrated we will have our dough ready. With floured hands we take small portions of the dough and make balls. It does not matter that they are not regular. Heat plenty of salted water in a saucepan and cook the malfatti in as many as eight or ten, so that they do not stick, for about five minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and continue cooking the rest. We heat the homemade tomato sauce and cover the base of four dishes with it. Top with about six or eight malfatti per head (it depends on the size), sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and serve with a little fresh oregano.
See full recipe | Malfatti, Italian spinach and ricotta dumplings
3. Green juice of kale, spinach, carrot and tangerines
- Ingredients: Kale a bunch, 3 Tangerines, Fresh Spinach, 60 g, 2 Carrots, 1 Lime and half a liter of very cold water
- Elaboration: Ideally, use a juice extractor, either a centrifugal blender or a good turmix that simultaneously extracts the juice and separates the pulp. Carla recommends chewing or cold extraction by pressure since it does not oxidize the juice so much or add temperature. I used my blender and it was no problem at all. Wash the ingredients well, especially the kale leaves and the spinach sprouts, and put them in the blender glass. Also add the lime and the peeled tangerines and the carrots, peeled and cut into medium-sized pieces. Add the water and blend in several short sessions until you get a shake with the perfect texture, without lumps or large chunks. To make the juice more flavorful, you can add a little ginger, or a pinch of Japanese spices to give it a nice spicy touch. If you want you can strain the resulting juice, but it is preferable to also include the fiber of the pulp, -or at least a part- in our intake. Serve immediately to enjoy the juice before it oxidizes. If you have leftovers, keep the juice in a closed glass bottle in the fridge.
See full recipe | Green kale, spinach, carrot and tangerine juice
4. Chickpea and spinach stew
- Ingredients: 200 g of Dried Chickpeas (fresh if possible), 2 Chives, 3 Garlic cloves, Sweet Paprika (1 good teaspoon), 5 g, Hot Paprika (optional), 1 g, Laurel, 3 Natural Canned Tomatoes (or 2 natural, grated without skin), 10ml of Sherry Vinegar, Vegetable or chicken broth or water, 1 Potato or 2 small ones, 2 Eggs, Fresh spinach 1 bunch (or chard), Ground black pepper, Salt, Virgin olive oil extra, Sliced hard loaf bread (for the minced), Almonds a handful (for the minced), Fresh parsley some leaves (for the minced)
- Elaboration: The first thing is to leave the chickpeas to soak in plenty of cold water the night before, preferably about 8-12 hours, or a few more. I prefer to wash them a little earlier, and try to use a fresh, seasonal, local small-gauge variety. Chop the chives and two cloves of garlic. Put the first one to fry with a little salt in a saucepan with some olive oil. Add the garlic, stir a little and fry for a few minutes, making sure it does not burn. Add the sweet paprika and a pinch of spice, stirring well quickly. Add the tomato, bay leaf and a pinch of salt. Add the drained chickpeas, a little vinegar and stir well for two minutes. Cover with water or cold broth, bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer for 60-90 minutes. When it takes an hour or so, add some washed, peeled and cascaded potatoes. If we leave them longer or in smaller pieces, they will almost melt with the stew, giving more thickness. To taste. Salt and pepper lightly and check the liquid level. It should be thick, not soup-like. Depending on the type of chickpea and the water, it will take about 30-60 more minutes. It can also be made in a pressure cooker or espresso, although I enjoy the quiet chup-chup without rushing. Cook the eggs while leaving them to the point, cool and peel. Towards the end, prepare a mash or picada (optional). Fry a slice of bread from the day before with a little oil with a handful of almonds and the remaining garlic. Mash in the mortar to make a paste, adding fresh parsley if we have. Add the minced meat to the stew and also add the spinach to taste. Remember that as soon as they are cooked they reduce their size a lot. I prefer to let them cook with the lid on and the fire already off, trying not to overdo it too much. Serve with the peeled, quartered or chopped eggs.
See full recipe | Chickpea stew from my grandmother who knows no fashions
5. Spinach and blue cheese croquettes
- Ingredients: Whole milk 2 glasses, 200 g of fresh spinach, 75 g of butter, wheat flour 2 tablespoons, blue cheese, 50 g, egg to wrap the croquettes, breadcrumbs to wrap the croquettes
- Elaboration: To make the croquettes, the first thing we need is to cook the spinach for 5 minutes in salted water. Then we drain them thoroughly so that they dump all the water, leaving them for a few minutes on a strainer. Once drained, we put a pan on the fire and melt the butter. Lightly sauté the spinach in the butter and add two tablespoons of flour, stirring until it is absorbed by the spinach. Next, we add the milk little by little, letting the spinach absorb it before adding more. We stir and add milk until we obtain a green béchamel that is thick enough to make croquettes. Add the blue cheese and stir so that it melts with the residual heat and is well distributed throughout the pasta. Once dissolved, let the croquettes paste rest in a source until it cools. To form the croquettes, this time I have formed balls that we pass through beaten egg and breadcrumbs. Once formed, we can freeze the croquettes until the day we are going to fry them or fry them directly in very hot olive oil, leaving the croquettes for a couple of minutes on each side until they begin to take a toasted color like the one in the photo of presentation. Then, you just need to drain them on absorbent paper and take them to the table very hot.
See full recipe | Spinach and blue cheese croquettes
6. Chicken in creamy spinach and parmesan sauce
- Ingredients: 2 chicken quarters, 200g of fresh spinach, 50g of Parmesan cheese, liquid cooking cream, 100 ml, chicken broth, 150 ml, spices to taste (hot paprika, salt, pepper) and extra virgin olive oil
- Elaboration: We start by seasoning the thighs and thighs well with the …