Spinach

Types of Spinach

Selection and Storage

Choose spinach that has crisp stems and perky, bright coloured leaves. Store unwashed spinach in the crisper section of the refrigerator.

Availability

Spinach is available all year round. Peak season is autumn-winter.

Using

Wash spinach thoroughly before use, especially English spinach which can taste gritty unless all the dirt is removed. English spinach can be eaten raw in the form of baby spinach or when more mature. English spinach is best boiled, sautéed, or steamed for a short period of time. The stems and the leaves of the silverbeet can both be used, stems are best blanched for 8-10 minutes then tossed with a sauce or butter or oil. Leaves can be steamed or boiled. Both can be baked in a gratin or pie. Spinach is good with cream, onion, bacon, ham, blue cheese, mozzarella, eggs, lemons, sultanas and currants.

Nutrition information

Spinach is an excellent source of iron, calcium, chlorophyll, beta carotene (needed for the production of vitamin A), vitamin C, riboflavin, sodium and potassium. Spinach is a rich source of antioxidants.

Silverbeet

Silverbeet is know as chard or swiss chard in Europe and the US. The large, crinkly leaves of silverbeet have more texture and flavour than English spinach and hold their shape and flavour with longer cooking. Look for healthy bunches that don’t flop.

The stem and the leaves of the silverbeet can be both be used separatly or together. It can be steamed, sauteed or baked in a gratin or pie. Silverbeet of all the spinach particular has an affinity for cheese and cream.

English Spinach

Called English spinach in some states and English spinach in others. The young version of English spinach is sold as baby spinach. The leaf and stalk can be steamed, sauteed or boiled. English spinach cooks in a few minutes. Once boiled spinach can be pureed with butter and/or cream. Wash well before use as leaves can be gritty.

Baby Spinach

The immature form of English spinach sold loose. Good for salads or saute, steam or boil briefly. Look for fresh looking leaves. Available all year round.