Storage and Preparations
Fresh spinach is one of those types of
green that is at its best if eaten as soon after it is picked as
possible. I suggest preparing it the same day it is bought. If it
appears very fresh, it will keep two to three days in the refrigerator.
Loose spinach should be sealed, unwashed, in a plastic vegetable bag
and placed in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. Plan to use as
soon as possible. Some cook suggests leaving prepackaged spinach in the
bag until you are ready to prepare it. I prefer to open the bags, pick
over the leaves, and discard any that have blackened edges, are
yellowed or wilted, or are too coarse to use. The remaining leaves
should be sealed in a plastic vegetable bag and stored in the
refrigerator. Not only does this method remove any spoiled leaves, it
gives you an accurate idea of how much spinach you actually have,
allowing you to buy more if the quantity is less than you thought.
All types of greens fresh spinach must be washed and should be stemmed
before cooking. I like to wash before I stem because if the spinach is
very muddy or gritty, stemming becomes unpleasant work. I choose
lukewarm water to wash the leaves, especially if they are the very
curly variety. The warm water seems to wilt the leaves slightly,
loosening some of the more embedded grit. Types of greens spinach that
will be served raw can be dried in a salad spinner, wrapped in a towel,
and refrigerated for 1 or 2 hours to re-crisp before using.
The best way to wash types of green fresh spinach is in a double sink.
If you do not have a double sink, place a large pot or plastic basin on
the counter next to the sink. Place the spinach to be washed in one
side of the sink and run the water over it until the sink is full.
Swish the spinach up and down, agitating it well to loosen as much of
the dirt as possible. Remove the types of greens fresh spinach from the
water and place it in the other sink. Drain the water and wash the grit
out of the first sink. Repeat the process until no grit or dirt remains
in the bottom of the sink. If you are using one sink and one basin,
remove the types of greens fresh spinach to the basin, flush out the
sink, and return the spinach to it for the next rinse.
Once the leaves are clean, each one must be stemmed individually, or
the finished dish could be unpleasantly fibrous or stringy. It is a
tedious job, and company makes it a much more enjoyable task. I suggest
enlisting a child, spouse, or friend to help; turning on the TV; or
listening to your favorite tape or CD.
Types of greens fresh spinach is stemmed
like any other green, such as collards or Swiss chard. The easiest
method is to fold the leaf in half with the back side out. Hold the
leaf in the left hand (if you are right handed) with the stem to the
right side. Grasp the bottom of the stem with the right hand and pull
up (or down if that seems easier). The stem should come away in one
piece. The leaves are ready to cook or use raw, whole or cut up.
Unless the types of greens fresh spinach is going to be served raw, do
not dry the leaves. Place the washed and stemmed spinach directly into
the cooking pot. It will look like a lot, but remember it cooks down
Types of greens fresh spinach can be left whole, torn into bite size
pieces, cut into shreds, or chopped. The quickest way to shred or chop
is to pile several leaves together and slice across with a sharp knife
of shreds. Turn and cut in the other direction for chopped. This does
not have to be done with painstaking care, because the size and shape
of the pieces will not be evident in the cooked dish.