Although spinach is available year-round, it is best from mid-autumn to spring. Spinach is prized both for its own tenderness and delicate earthy, green, slightly tart flavour, and for the way it complements other ingredients from cream, eggs and cheese to pastry, pasta, rice, herbs, Middle Eastern and Indian spices, garlic, lemon, other vegetables and most meat or fish. Spinach reduces quite alot in volume when cooked. To Prepare: Spinach needs to be washed carefully in several changes of cold water to remove the dirt, then remove the leaves and discard the thick stalks. To Store: Spinach is easily bruised and won't store for long. Enclose full size spinach, untrimmed and unwashed, in a plastic bag for up to 3 days.
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