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Blanched Chopped Spinach

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

3 cups of blanched, chopped spinach

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Recipe Courseside dish

Dietary Considerationdiabetic, egg-free, gluten-free, halal, healthy, kosher, lactose-free, low calorie, low carb, low cholesterol, low saturated fat, low sodium, low-fat, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Equipmentfood mill

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturesavory

Type of Dishvegetable

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs fresh spinach
  • 1½ tsp salt per quart of water
  • A large kettle containing at least 7 to 8 quarts of rapidly boiling water
  • A large colander
  • A stainless steel chopping knife or a food mill

Instructions

  1. If the spinach is young and tender, the stems are usually removed at the base of the leaf. For more mature spinach, fold the leaf vertically, its underside up, in the fingers of one hand; grasp the stem in the other hand and rip it off toward the tip of the leaf, thus removing with the stem the tough tendrils which are attached to the underside of the leaf. Discard any wilted or yellow leaves. Whether or not it is claimed that the spinach is washed, plunge it into a large basin of cold water and pump it up and down for several minutes with your hands. Lift it out into a colander, leaving any sand in the bottom of the basin. Wash the spinach several times more, if necessary, until there is no sand to be seen in the bottom of the basin. Drain, and the spinach is ready for cooking.

  2. A handful at a time, drop the spinach into the boiling salted water. Bring back to the boil as rapidly as possible and boil slowly, uncovered, for about 2 minutes, or until the spinach is almost tender. Test it by eating a piece.

  3. At once, set the colander, curved side down, into the kettle. Protecting your hands with a towel, hold the colander firmly clamped to the sides of the kettle as you tilt the kettle and pour out the water. Still with the colander in place, run cold water into the kettle for several minutes to refresh the spinach. This will preserve its color and texture. Remove colander and lift the spinach out of the water into the colander, thus leaving any possible bits of sand in the bottom of the kettle.

  4. A small amount at a time, squeeze the spinach in your hands to extract as much water as possible—last drops of water from each squeeze may be saved for soup.

  5. Chop the spinach with a big knife on a chopping board, or, if you want a fine purée, put it through a food mill. The spinach is now ready for further cooking and flavoring.

  6. May be done several hours or a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate.

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