We've been enjoying the young tender leaves in salads throughout the spring. We've had a cold, wet spring so I feel like the spinach season lasted longer before it wanted to bolt. Only yesterday did I go out to the garden and see the tiny flowers/seed heads forming. So I knew it was time to bring it all in.
Spanakopita (Spinach Pie) for dinner last night. It had feta, dill, parsley, and nutmeg wrapped in flaky Phyllo, buttery dough. It was delicious!
I intended on making more salads with the remaining spinach, but our lettuce is following suit in the garden and getting ready to bolt. So I think we'll use that up in it's fresh state because you can't freeze lettuce.
You can, however, freeze spinach. Frozen spinach works great in cooked dishes.
Some of my favorite are:
- sauteed spinach with garlic, olive oil and soy sauce
- spinach and artichoke dip
- creamed spinach
- quiches and omelets
- added to meals like meatloaf, spaghetti, or meatballs for a hidden nutritional boost.
To store the harvest I decided to steam our spinach, then blanch and freeze it.
I washed the spinach thoroughly and broke off really large stems. For the most part, the stems don't bother me. Once the spinach is cooked, they soften and what doesn't, gives a bit of a firm texture that I kinda like.
I can't believe how much it cooks down. There's always a "wah, wah, wah" moment when wilting spinach. You start with this impressive bulk of leaves, and end up with this tiny compact wad. Oh well.
Fill freezer bags in desired measured amounts and remove as much air as possible.