Spinach is one of the most popular foods in the world, and no wonder.  Raw or cooked, it is quick and easy to prepare, as well as delicious and nutritious.  Using spinach allows you to expand your repertoire of soups, salads, sauces, baked and stuffed pasta dishes, and a myriad of pizzas.

Packaged baby spinach is best suited for salads and as a wilted topping added after the pizza is baked.  Here’s a quick idea for a pizza and salad combo… try a no red sauce pizza baked with heirloom tomatoes, fresh garlic, mozzarella and feta cheeses; then after baking mound it with a mix of baby lettuce and baby spinach dressed in olive oil and vinegar.  Washed and cut cello spinach is best for pizzas, pastas, and many sauces.  Even though it comes ready to use, it is a good idea to check and make sure there is no dirt or sand still on the spinach.  Frozen spinach is good for soups that are pureed and for some sauces.

When spinach is baked on a pizza, it is usually precooked.  Raw spinach cooked on a pizza will come out of the oven dry and/or burnt, and you have to use a considerable amount of spinach to provide any flavor.  Blanching, sauteeing, and stewing are good ways to precook.  You should also drain off any watery liquid from the cooking process.  Lobster, smoke salmon, chicken, leek, walnut, dill, tomato, mascarpone, ricotta, eggplant, and mushrooms are just the start of a long list of foods that pair well with spinach.  Why not try adding a few items featuring spinach to your menu?

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