Garden spinach specialties
July 31, 2008
By Ginger Isham
One cup of cooked spinach is high in Vitamin C and A, rich in riboflavin, folate, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins E, B6, and thiamin and contains 40 calories. When steaming or cooking spinach, save the juice, as it is the most potent vegetable juice in prevention of cancer cell formation. It is thought that a daily serving of spinach makes one less likely to develop lung cancer. One pound of fresh spinach will make one cup of cooked spinach.
Many years ago we attended yearly farm meetings at a local inn and were served a spinach appetizer before our main dish. I wished I knew how to make it and years later a friend in my workplace gave me a recipe very similar to this appetizer. I have been asked for the recipe numerous times over the years so will again share it in my column.
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup small-curd cottage cheese
2 tablespoons flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 frozen package of chopped spinach; or 1 pound fresh spinach
pinch of salt and pepper
1 package shredded cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
Mix all ingredients in bowl. I sometimes add 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped onion. Pour into an 8-inch-by-8-inch baking dish, lightly oiled. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. I double recipe and put in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
Green garden spinach/pea soup
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup scallions or onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
4 cups peas
4 teaspoons dried basil or 4 tablespoon fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
16 cups fresh spinach
6 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
pinch of black or white pepper
In large kettle, sauté onions and garlic in butter. Add remaining ingredients and cook until spinach is limp. Cool slightly. Process in a blender or food processor until smooth. Heat and serve with crusty bread.
Starved for time
A quick way to serve spinach is by cooking one slice of bacon, cut up, with one small, thinly sliced onion. Add 1/2 pound of fresh spinach, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 pound of spinach and cover and cook for 3 to 8 minutes. Add dash of salt and pepper. Stir and serve.
Ginger Isham was the co-owner of Maple Grove Farm Bed & Breakfast in Williston, a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road where she still lives. She cooked for guests for more than a decade.