21 Super Spinach Recipes
There are so many reasons to enjoy spinach. Just a cup (250 mL) of the fresh dark-green leaves can give you half of your daily vitamin A -- and that's not to mention the iron, folate, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and fibre. The antioxidants and carotenoids in spinach have been linked to reduced rates of cancer, heart disease and cataracts.
Spinach's distinctive taste is due to the presence of a compound called oxalic acid, also found in tea. Oxalic acid reduces the body's ability to absorb the kind of iron found in spinach, so pair a glass of OJ with your spinach salad for a real power lunch (vitamin C helps to increase your iron absorption).
Spinach is grown in sandy soil. Swooshing it in a bowl of warm water with a sprinkle of salt is an easy way to get rid of all the grit. Rinse under cool running water afterwards, then try out one of these recipes!
7 fresh spinach salads
Spinach and Orange Salad with Goat Cheese
Spinach is tender and sweet at this time of year; use young bunched spinach or baby spinach leaves.
Sole and Spinach Salad with Hot Lime Vinaigrette
The word panfried doesn't have to mean unhealthy. Heart-healthy olive oil is an important part of a balanced diet.
Spinach Salad with Wilted Mushrooms
Use a mandoline for best results. If you don't have one, slice the mushrooms and onion as thinly as possible with a very sharp knife. Montasio cheese, from the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy, has a delightful sweet milky taste.
Grilled Pork Salad with Spinach and Beets
A German-, Scandinavian- or eastern European-style rye bread is the perfect accompaniment to this salad.
Warm Mushroom and Spinach Salad with Fennel and Tomatoes
Although this unusual salad has a mild licorice flavour, it's fresh and light-tasting.
Wilted Spinach Salad
Featuring festive colours and a fresh bracing edge, this salad is special without being fussy to prepare.
Thai-Style Shrimp Salad on Spinach
In Thailand, you might find this shrimp salad served over a bed of blanched convolvulus, also known as water spinach.
7 spinach main dishes
Spinach and Ricotta Manicotti
You can use oven-ready dry cannelloni shells for this recipe; just stir 1/2 cup/125 mL water into tomato sauce before spreading over stuffed pasta.
Potato and Spinach "Lasagna"
Israeli sheep's milk feta cheese is kosher for Passover and a delicious addition to this layered potato dish, which is inspired by both Italian lasagna and Jewish potato kugel.
Portuguese-Style Spinach Soup
This satisfying simple soup emphasizes the wonderful flavour of spinach, accented with just a few other ingredients.
Swiss-Style Cheese Ramekin with Spinach and Ham
In the Swiss canton of Vaud, a "ramekin" is a baked dish of bread and eggs with cream, often with other added ingredients, as in this version with spinach and ham.
Spinach, Ham and Cheese Pies
A lively filling is tucked into a rich dough for these small empanada-like pies you can eat out of hand.
Baked Eggs with Spinach
Eggs baked over creamy puréed spinach -- in individual gratin dishes or together in a large baking dish -- make an elegant and simple main course. Serve with crusty bread or spoon over toast.
Easy Crab and Spinach Frittata
A very simple lemony tomato sauce pairs beautifully with both the crab and the spinach in this Italian-style omelette.
7 spinach side dishes
Spinach and Walnut Pies
These small savoury and rustic pies are quite simple to put together with the smooth and elastic dough.
Use local bunched young spinach with tender stems for the best flavour and texture. Just trim off the roots.
This pilaf is a side vegetable and starch in one.
Chinese Spinach Pies
This type of northern Chinese hand pie is called hezi ("box") in Chinese. There, they are popular street snacks cooked in portable iron ovens.
Indian-Style Creamed Spinach
This satisfying dish can be served as a main for a vegetarian or Indian dinner or as a side with roasted meat or poultry.