Ready-to-serve spinach in a bag is one of the most versatile ingredients to have in your fridge or freezer. Here, the food legend and Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation founder shares her top tips on how to use it, fresh or frozen, in everything from salads and stews to fritters.
Stephanie Alexander’s tips on how to love your leaves
1. Make Spinach and Sourdough Fritters.
These bite-sized fritters are the perfect snack or light meal. Packed with flavour, they're a great way to use up any leafy greens in the fridge. Find the recipe here.
2. Straight from the pack as a lunch salad.
In lunch boxes pack the spinach on its own in a small lidded container. Make your salad using slices of ham, hard-boiled eggs, cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes, celery and a small handful of nuts or seeds. Add a container of dressing: for me it would be extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and some seasoning.
3. Freeze in batches to have on hand for a stew or curry.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and plunge in the spinach leaves. Give them a good swirl with a wooden spoon. Allow to return to the boil and boil for a minute. Tip into a colander and drain, then refresh at once with cold water. Squeeze the spinach well to remove the water (I like to give it a firm squeeze in a tea towel).
Each handful should be slipped into a container and frozen quickly. Once frozen, the spinach blocks can be stored in a lidded container. Then it’s easy to drop a spinach ice block into a stew or curry, or into a pan with a sauteed onion to start a simple pasta sauce, or a pie filling.
4. Filo pastry triangles.
Thaw a few of your spinach ice blocks, saute with a clove of garlic and a spoonful of olive oil and mix with grated fetta cheese and some grated lemon zest. Season and use as a quick filling for filo pastry triangles or to spread on a soft wrap.
5. Make a butter puree for lamb or fish.
Gently saute 2-3 chopped cloves of garlic in a generous quantity of butter (approximately 100g to 350g spinach) and then allow the butter to be absorbed by thawed spinach ice blocks. There is almost no limit to the quantity of butter that spinach will absorb! This buttery puree is a luxurious garnish for a simply grilled lamb cutlet or piece of firm white fish.