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Spinach: Spun up!

Local spinach is in season right now, and you should *absolutely* be eating it, but we can't blame you if you're sick of salad, so here ya go: whole page of spinach recipes and NOT. ONE. SALAD!

Spice up your spinach game with these hearty dishes!

 

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Spinach

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz of pasta* (linguini, angel hair, penne, fusilli, etc)
    *We used local: Nature's Farm Garlic Lemon-Pepper Linguine!
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz fresh spinach
  • ⅓  cup Parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for garnish)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente.  
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine ricotta, olive oil, parmesan, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well and check your seasoning.
  3. In the last minute of the pasta cooking, reserve ½  cup of the cooking water, then add the spinach to the pot.  Stir well and push the leaves down into the water.
  4. After 1 minute, drain the pasta and spinach and return it to the same pot. 
  5. Add in the ricotta mixture and some of the reserved pasta water.  Stir well to evenly coat the pasta in the sauce, adding more pasta water as needed.  You want the sauce to be smooth and creamy.
  6. Serve immediately with extra parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil for garnish.

 

Warm Spinach and Chickpea Salad

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 5 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet, add the olive oil and onion.  Saute over medium-high  heat just until the onions are translucent. Add in the garlic and stir until fragrant.
  2. Next, add the chickpeas and season with cumin,  salt and pepper.  
  3. Once the chickpeas are warmed through, add the spinach and stir to coat with oil and wilt a bit. 
  4. Add the lemon juice.  Mix well and check the seasoning.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

Creamed Spinach

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 cloves garlic,  minced 
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (divided)
  • 5 cups fresh spinach leaves

 Instructions:

  1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat and stir in flour to make a paste.
  2. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Lower heat to medium-low and add in heavy cream. Stir until it starts to thicken.
  4. Add in 1/2 cup Parmesan  and stir until combined.
  5. Add in spinach leaves and stir until they start to wilt.
  6. Pour into a baking dish and top with additional grated parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and spinach is bubbling.

 

Quinoa with Spinach and Mushrooms

 

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 tbsp oil
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • .5 lb mushrooms, halved then sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • .5 lb fresh spinach
  • 1 ½ cups cooked quinoa (we suggest Prairie Quinoa’s Amber quinoa)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, add the oil, onion and garlic.  Saute for a couple minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add in the sliced mushrooms and thyme. Continue to cook over medium-high heat until mushrooms are slightly golden.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Next, add the spinach and allow it to wilt, stirring occasionally.
  4. Finally, add the cooked quinoa and mix well.  Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper as needed.
  5. When quinoa is starting to get a bit browned and everything is nicely warmed through, take off the heat and serve.

 

 

*Chef Cryssi's Tips*

Freezing whole spinach leaves:

Freezing whole spinach leaves is a total breeze! Just pick out any icky leaves, place the fresh spinach leaves in a freezer bag squeeze out as much air as possible, and place it in the freezer. It doesn’t get much easier!

Freezing pureed spinach:

Simply add all of the spinach to a blender and add just enough water to get the blender going. Freeze the puree in freezer bags (again, squeeze the air out), ice cube trays, or baby food containers.

In either case, you DO NOT need to blanch the spinach if you plan to use your freezer spinach within six months.