Food & Entertaining - Garden to Table

Spinach recipes

Spinach packs a nutritional punch, and with these recipes, you won't be able to get enough

BABY SPINACH SALAD (serves 4)
Baby spinach and pears come alive with the rich taste of toasted walnuts and creamy gorgonzola.

4 slices of French bread, cut about 1/4 in. (5 mm) thick on the diagonal

Vinaigrette
2 tbsp. (30 mL) red wine vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
1 tbsp. (15 mL) honey
Pinch each salt & freshly ground pepper
6 tbsp. (90 mL) extra virgin olive oil
Salad
4 cups (1 L) baby spinach
2 cups (500 mL) field or mixed greens
1 ripe small pear, cored & thinly sliced
1/4 cup (60 mL) walnut pieces, toasted
2 oz. (50 g) gorgonzola cheese

1 Whisk vinegar with shallot, honey, salt and pepper. Slowly add oil, whisking continuously until emulsified. Reserve.

2 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Bake bread slices until golden, about 8 minutes. Toss greens with pears and walnuts; divide among 4 plates. Remove bread slices from oven and top with cheese. Lay them over greens and drizzle salad with vinaigrette.

WHITE BEAN DIP (makes 3 cups)
White beans are used as a base for this Greek-inspired appetizer.

6 oz. (150 g) fresh spinach, stemmed
Pinch salt
1 19-oz. (540-mL) can cannellini or white kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 14-oz. (398-mL) can artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
1 cup (250 mL) feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup (60 mL) red onion, finely chopped
1 roasted red pepper, peeled, seeded & chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. (30 mL) fresh dill, finely chopped
2 tbsp. (30 mL) lemon juice
1 tsp. (5 mL) lemon zest
2 tbsp. (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
2 dashes Tabasco sauce

1 Rinse spinach but don't dry; sauté with salt in large frying pan over medium-high heat until just wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Squeeze out liquid.

2 Purée spinach with rest of ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Serve with warm pita bread.

TOMATO SOUP WITH SPINACH (serves 4 to 6)
This soup can be prepared in advance.

4-6 slices French bread, cut about 1 in. (2.5 cm) thick
2 tbsp. (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 medium cooking onion, chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (125 mL) celery, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. (5 mL) dried rosemary, crumbled
1/2 tsp. (2 mL) dried thyme
1/2 tsp. (2 mL) red pepper flakes
1/4 cup (60 mL) white wine
1 28-oz. (796-mL) can diced tomatoes, drained
4 cups (1 L) vegetable stock
1 19-oz. (540-mL) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 cups (1 L) spinach, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp. (30 mL) fresh parsley, finely chopped
Pinch granulated sugar
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly grated parmesan

1 Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Bake bread on a baking sheet until lightly browned, turning once, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven.

2 Heat oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté, stirring frequently, until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add carrot, celery, garlic, dried herbs and spice; sauté for another 5 minutes. Add wine and cook until liquid evaporates.

3 Add tomatoes, stock and chickpeas to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Just before serving, add spinach, parsley and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.

4 Place a slice of bread in individual bowls; sprinkle with parmesan. Ladle soup over bread and serve.

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