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How to Store and Prepare Types of Greens Fresh Spinach

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 considerably.


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.
 

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