How do you cook raw spinach?
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the advice below is great but you can sautee it, grill it, boil it, put it in a salad, puree it, and those are all the ways i cook and eat spinach
also sometimes you can get Poke. and it's Free!!!http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pokeweed
I would not call Poke dangerous, but if you eat the plants when they are mature it can make you sick. During the civil war the starving soldiers were eating the small poke. Then as the poke became bigger they kept on eating it. I have read speculation that this affected the outcome of the war, they were just sick from poke. I've eaten poke all my life. We eat it in the spring when the plants are still small. It's delicious. I have never been even slightly sick from it. It's very nutritious. In the past it's been called a "spring tonic" but I suspect that ,given the meat and beans diet a lot of folks ate all winter, anything green would have had a tonic effect.
Careful with Pokeweed...it is a dangerous food source, even after triple boiling to reduce the toxicity. Not saying it can't be used, just that it may not be worth the trouble and requires careful treatment to use with moderate safety and only minor toxicity.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PokeweedPoke was often eaten during the Depression (1930s) when people were desperate for something to eat.
After that great washing method (or the baby leaves from the cheater section of the produce section), I sautee them with a very little oil and soy sauce just till wilted. Just my favorite way to eat it.
wash it thoroughly...wash it again... Spinach, like most leafy vegetables, pick up alot of grit while they grow, and it feels awful when it gets in your teeth.
next, cut the woody bits off the stems, they;'ll never cook well and they aren't pleasant to eat. not the whole stem just the woodier parts.
Now if you have a larger basket steamer, just place the leaves into the steamer basket and steam them in a closed pot until soft....or boil them until they are soft.
if a smaller steamer, cut the leaves so they fit the basket and do as above.
steaming is preferred because it retain more of the nutrients and flavor.
steaming will take between 5-10 minutes, depending on the amount of spinach and heat and how tender you like them.
BTW, the same basic method can be used for Kale, Mustard greens, Turnip greens, and Swiss Chard, all of which are incredibly good for you.
The cooking time will vary for each, since the above listed leaf veggies have varying degrees of "toughness". Kale, for instance, takes 15 minutes or so to soften well for mature leaves, Chard takes about the same amount of time (or just a minute longer) than Spinach.
Mustard and Turnip greens aren't for the feint hearted, as they have a bitter flavor, but AFAIK, they are very good food
One neato thing about Kale is that it often lasts in its planting thruout the winter. I won't be growing of course, but it can be picked, as it is a tough bird...Winter picked Kale is, ime, the sweetest time to pick and produces the very best tasting Kale. Like carrots, cold makes for better flavor and consistency.
Steaming it is your best option, I won't post up instuctions as seandogue already has.
I wash it then put it in a pan with a lid on with a couple of tablespoons of boiling water and cook it gently for 3-6 minutes. When it's wilted and shrunken, it's ready.