Menu

Glossary

Spinach

Spinach

Pronounce it: spin-atch

Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable. The leaves can be either flat or slightly ruffled, and are a bright green when young, deepening to a more intense colour when older. The bitter flavour is distinctive - you either love it or hate it - and particularly complements dairy products and eggs.

The milder, young leaves can be eaten raw in a salad, while the older ones are usually cooked (spinach has one of the shortest cooking times of all vegetables). It reduces very dramatically during cooking; a 450g bag will be just enough for two people.

Availability

All year round, but at its best from April through to September. Have a go at growing your own if you've got a fairly large veg patch or allotment.

Choose the best

Go for spinach with bright green leaves, tender but crisp stems and a fresh smell. Avoid any that is yellowing or wilting.

Prepare it

If you have bought pre-washed bagged spinach it will probably only need a quick rinse to freshen it up. In contrast, loose spinach needs thorough washing in a colander to remove dirt and grit.

Shake the excess water off (if you plan to stir-fry it or eat it raw in a salad, you should pat it dry with kitchen paper, too). Older spinach may have tough stems - cut these off. If the rib of the leaf is particularly big, fold the leaf in half lengthways with the rib facing outwards, then tear it away from the leaf.

Store it

In a perforated plastic bag in the fridge. Don't wash before you refrigerate, or the leaves will go soggy.

Cook it

Raw in salads. Roast (8-10 minutes). Slice and stir fry (1-2 minutes). Steam whole (3-4 minutes).

For more information on spinach see ingredient focus...spinach.

Alternatives

Try Swiss chard or cabbage.

Skills & know how

As well as helping you decide what to cook we can also help you to cook it. From tips on cookery techniques to facts and information about health and nutrition, we’ve a wealth of foodie know how for you to explore.

About BBC Good Food

We’re all about good recipes, and about quality home cooking that everyone can enjoy. Whether you’re looking for some healthy inspiration or learning how to cook a decadent dessert, we’ve trustworthy guidance for all your foodie needs.

Our recipes

All our recipes are tested thoroughly by us to make sure they’re suitable for your kitchen at home. We know many of you are concerned about healthy eating, so we send them to a qualified nutritionist for thorough analysis too.

Tell us what you think…

Love the new look or think we’ve missed the mark? We want to hear your thoughts – good and bad – to make sure we make the new website as useful as possible.

Magazine

Subscribe to BBC Good Food magazine and get triple-tested recipes delivered to your door, every month.

Events

Discover the dates and details of all the BBC Good Food Shows.

On TV

See your favourite chefs on Sky Channel 247, Virgin TV 260 and find their recipes at goodfoodchannel.co.uk

Good Food Apps

Download the BBC Good Food Recipes, tips & cooking tools app and get good food on the go.