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Pop-eye the Sailor Man had it right, Spinach gives you strength in so many ways...and it tastes awesome, too. It is so sweet and full of vitamins A, C, K and a couple of B's. It has loads of micronutrients and antioxidants accompanied by omega-3 fatty acids. Eat it raw, steamed, or quickly boiled. Store it in a plastic bag and tie it shut. Keep in the frige up to 2 weeks!   

QUICK IDEAS: chop it into a salad; make it into a pesto and use on pasta or pizza or spread on a sandwich


Spinach Frittata
from Food Network Magazine, April 2015

4 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and ground pepper
1 cup shredded swiss cheese 
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 tbsp salted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cups baby spinach

Directions: 
1) Preheat oven to broil. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper until smooth. Fold in the cheese and tomatoes and set aside. 
2) In a medium oven-safe frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 5 min. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted, about 2 min. Pour the egg mixture over the spinach and cook until almost set, 2 to 4 min. 
3) Transfer the pan to the oven and broil until golden brown on top, about 5 min. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a serving plate. 

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
from Cook's Illustrated 

3 large eggs
6 ounces spinach (about 8 cups)
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
pinch salt
8 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2 in. pieces
1/2 medium red onion, chopped medium 
1 small garlic clove, minced

Directions:
1) Place eggs in medium saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water, and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fill medium bowl with 1 quart ice water. Transfer eggs to ice water with slotted spoon; let stand 5 minutes, then peel eggs, quarter them lengthwise, and set aside. 
2) Place spinach in large bowl. Stir vinegar, sugar, pepper, and salt together in small bowl until sugar dissolves; set aside. 
3) Fry bacon in medium skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate. Pour bacon fat into heatproof bowl, then return 3 Tbsp. of bacon fat to skillet. Add onion to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until slightly softened. about 3 minutes; stir in garlic until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add vinegar mixture, then remove skillet from heat; working quickly, scrape bottom of skillet with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Pour hot dressing over spinach, add bacon, and toss gently with tongs until spinach is slightly wilted. Divide among individual plates, arrange egg quarters over each, and serve.  

Mini Spinach-Feta Pies
from Food & Wine December 2014

3-4 cups spinach
3 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
2 1/2 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
Heaping 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
salt
pepper
One 14-ounce package of puff pastry or phyllo dough, thawed
1 large egg, beaten
Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

Directions
1) In a large saucepan of boiling water, blanch the spinach for 30 seconds. Drain and rinse under cool water. Squeeze out as much water as possible from the spinach. Chop the spinach and transfer it to a medium bowl. Add the onion, feta, allspice, olive oil, and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and mix well.
2) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry 1/8 in. thick. Using a 3 1/2 in. biscuit cutter (or similarly sized jar/glass), cut out 12 rounds; transfer them to the prepared baking sheet. Working with one round at a time, brush the edge with beaten egg, the mound about 1 tbsp. of the spinach filling in the center. Bring three sides of the dough together in the center to form a triangle and pinch to seal. Repeat with the remaining pastry rounds.
3) Brush the pastries all over with the egg wash and sprinkle with the sesame seeds, if using. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and golden. Serve hot. 

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Spinach and Goat Cheese: Serves 4
from Cook's Illustrated Nov/Dec 2008

10 portobello mushrooms, stems removed and reserved, caps wiped clean
4 Tbsp. olive oil
salt
10 cups spinach
2 Tbsp. water
2 large slices sandwich bread torn into quarters
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 medium onions, diced small
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry sherry or other dry red wine
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
2 tsp. lemon juice
black pepper

Directions 
1) Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 400 degrees. Using sharp knife, cut 1/4 in. slits, spaced 1/2 in. apart, in crosshatch pattern on surface (non-gill side) of 8 mushrooms. Dice remaining 2 mushroom caps and reserved stems into 1/2 in. pieces, set aside.
2) Brush both sides of caps with 2 Tbsp. oil and sprinkle evenly with 1 tsp. salt. Carefully place caps, gill-side up, on preheated baking sheet. Roast until mushrooms have released some of their juices and begin to brown around edges, 8 to 12 minutes. Flip caps over and continue to roast until liquid has completely evaporated and caps are golden brown, 8 to 12 minutes longer. Remove mushrooms from oven and heat broiler.
3) Meanwhile, wilt spinach in water either on stovetop or in microwave, until decreased in volume by half. Keep covered for an additional minute off heat. Transfer spinach to a colander and gently press spinach to release excess liquid. Transfer spinach to cutting board and roughly chop. Return spinach to colander and press again. Set aside.
4) Pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground, about 16 one-second pulses (you should have about 1 1/2 cups.) Heat 1 Tbsp. oil and 1 Tbsp. butter in 12-in. skillet over medium heat until butter is melted. Add bread crumbs and 1/4 tsp. salt; cook, stirring frequently, until light golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer crumbs to small bowl and wipe skillet dry.  
5) Return now-empty skillet to medium-high heat, add remaining tablespoon oil, and heat until smoking. Add chopped mushrooms and cook without stirring for 2 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes longer. Transfer to medium bowl. 
6) Add remaining tablespoon butter and onions to skillet; cook, stirring, occasionally, until onions are light brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in sherry or wine and cook until almost no liquid remains, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in reserved cooked mushrooms, spinach, thyme, goat cheese, cream, and walnuts. Continue cooking until cheese is melted and vegetables are well coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir in lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
7) Flip caps, gill-side up, and distribute filling evenly among mushroom caps; top each with 2 Tbsp. bread crumb mixture. Broil mushrooms until crumbs are golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.


Baked Spinach & Thyme Omelet: Serves 12
from Martha Stewart Living December 2014

olive oil to brush pan
16 large eggs
1/4 cup flour
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp. salt
1/2 mild onion, thinly sliced, or small bunch of scallions, thinly sliced
3 ounces spinach or other greens, stemmed (3 cups)

Directions
1) Preheat oven to 325 with rack in upper third. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with oil. Whisk eggs in a bowl until combined, then slowly whisk in flour, thyme, and salt until smooth. Pour into prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with onion or scallions and tuck in greens.
2) Bake until puffed and golden, about 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into squares.

Penne with Spinach, Olives, and Feta: Serves 4 to 6
from Bon Appetit, 2008

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel...I always use apple cider vinegar instead
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large bunch of spinach (kale, tot soi, mustard greens or broccoli raab would do, too)
12 ounces penne
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)

Directions
1) Mix parsley, lemon peel (or cider vinegar), and garlic in small bowl and set aside.
2) Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add greens and cook until just tender, about 1 minute (if you are using kale boil for up to 6 minutes). 
3) Using a skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer spinach to a colander and drain.
4) Return water to a boil. Add pasta and cook just until tender, but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.
5) Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking liquid set aside. Return pasta to the pot; add greens and 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
6) Stir in olives, feta, and enough reserved pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten.
7) Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and drizzle remaining olive oil before sprinkling parsley mixture on top.

Spinach Ricotta Quiche: Makes 1 Quiche
from Savory Sweet Life

One unbaked 9 inch pie crust (store-bought or homemade)
4 eggs
1 cup heavy cream 
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup sharp cheddar, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped, cooked, with excess water squeezed out

Directions
1) Preheat the oven to 375. Oil or butter a 9 inch pie plate.
2) Place the pie crust in the plate and gently pat it down around the base and sides. Crimp the outside edges of the crust or cut the excess off with a knife. Using a fork, poke several holes in the pie crust.
3) In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, ricotta, cheddar, salt, and pepper until everything is combined.
4) Evenly distribute the cooked spinach in the pie crust. Pour in the egg mixture, filling the plate up to 1/4 inch from the top.
5) Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the center of the quiche is firm when pressed.
6) Allow the quiche to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
**Add 1 cup cooked crumbled bacon, diced ham, or chopped cooked sausage.


Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells: Serves 4 to 6
from spoonforkbacon.com 

 25 jumbo pasta shells
 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 1 cup tomatoes, crushed and drained
 1/3 cup Parmesan, grated
 filling:
 2 cups spinach, chopped, cooked, drained
 2 cups ricotta
 1 egg, lightly beaten
 1 small onion, minced (scallions would work, too)
 1 tablespoon thyme, minced
 salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350°F.
2) Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
3) Add the pasta and a pinch of salt.
4) Cook the pasta until al dente, about 15 minutes.
5) Drain the pasta and toss with olive oil. Set aside.
6) Pour the tomatoes into a 8”x 8” baking dish and move around to form an even coat.
7) In a mixing bowl, combine the filling ingredients and stir together. Season together with salt and pepper.
8) Using a spoon, scoop a small amount of the filling and stuff into a pasta shell.
9) Nestle the stuffed shell into the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining shells until the baking dish is filled.
10) Top the baking dish with a sprinkle of parmesan.
11) Tightly cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
12) Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the parmesan begins to bubble and lightly brown.
13) Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.


Spinach and Sprouting Broccoli Salad
adapted from saladpride.blogspot.com

**Adjust amounts for how many people you wish to serve
Manchego cheese  (or sub romano, parmesan, or very sharp white cheddar)
Sprouting Broccoli, cut to desired size
Spinach 
A handful of pinenuts, walnuts or sunflower seeds
A handful of cranberries

Dressing:
Balsamic Vinegar, Salt and pepper, Extra virgin olive oil. 

Directions:
1) Put salad ingredients together in bowl.
2) In separate container, make salad dressing.
3) Dress salad right before serving. 



Spinach