The Cooking Chronicles: Cooking with Spinach

Most of the spinach I buy inevitably ends up in a salad. I have gone so far as to wilt spinach, but those instances are few and far between.

So, with the markets bursting with spinach, I thought I should change it up a bit, and be a little more creative. Two recipes featuring these greens caught my eye.

Carrot, Spinach and Rice Stew

After a few meals that unavoidably left me with numerous dishes to wash (I don’t know why I complain about dishes so much…I honestly don’t mind doing them, but the less there are to clean, the better), I immediately gravitated towards Mark Bittman’s one-pot carrot, spinach and rice stew. It’s another gem of a recipe that features under ten ingredients, combined and allowed to simmer away happily on the stove, thickening and intensifying in flavour all the while.

The comments recommended adding chickpeas, which I did, as well as a dash of cumin, which was Bittman’s suggestion. I also finished it with some dill (fresh from a coworker’s garden!), which was just the pop that a dish like this, served in the middle of summer, needed. I probably could have added more spinach (I used the remainder of a bag of Greens, Eggs and Ham mixed heritage spinach), as it does wilt down an incredible amount, and here, was given the time to cook and lose that stringy texture. Mack really liked that the chickpeas had ample time to soften (I added them with about fifteen minutes to go).

Carrot, Spinach and Rice Stew

Carrot, spinach and rice stew

All in all, another successful Bittman recipe!

Pea and Spinach Soup with Coconut Milk

I’m not sure what inspired me to make vegetable stock for a soup recipe, but I did. And guess what? It wasn’t difficult at all! With guidance again from Bittman, I had a decent stock in half an hour.

Vegetable StockVegetable Stock

Before and after

Though I haven’t made too many things from Deborah Madison’s Local Flavours, I love flipping through it periodically – with recipes that embrace seasonal cooking, it’s a good starter book for ideas on how to use fresh ingredients available at farmers’ markets. A recipe for pea and spinach soup with coconut milk provided the perfect opportunity to marry two seasonal ingredients – peas from Edgar Farms and spinach from Sundog Organics.

Unlike the spinach in the stew, however, I thought it could have been given a little more time to cook, and unfortunately, the curry overwhelmed the subtle cilantro flavour. That said, I really liked how the coconut milk and sweet peas balanced the heat from the curry, and all of the different textures in the soup, especially the peas (how could anyone not love sweet peas?).

Pea and Spinach Soup with Coconut Milk

Pea and spinach soup with coconut milk

What are your favourite ways to cook with spinach?

12 thoughts on “The Cooking Chronicles: Cooking with Spinach

  1. Great looking dishes Sharon! That carrot, spinach and rice stew looks like such yummy comfort food.

    Whenever I buy spinach, it usually ends up as a stir fry or used as a hot pot veggie. I know, so Asian. Haha.

  2. Hi. This is my first time here. Isn’t Epicurious spelled with an ‘i’ not an ‘e’? I’m sorry to leave this as a comment, I don’t know how to email you.

  3. Heather – that’s a simple but tasty way to have spinach!

    LeQuan – thanks! It was pretty good, especially on day 2. I love stir frys and hot pots – fast but delicious.

    Christine – you may be right, though I’ve seen it spelled both ways.

    Debra – I’ve never actually made spanakopita, but it’s on my list :).

  4. Gome Ae, is awesome, creamy miso and sesame dressing over quickly blanched spinach, you can’t go wrong.

  5. I’ve never tried Gome Ae before (or maybe I have, but didn’t know it) – I think my coworker has mentioned it before though. Thanks for the reminder!

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