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Tender Profile | Spinach

Spinach.jpg

Spinach, a.k.a. Spinacia oleracea

Who am I?

  • Plant family: Amaranthaceae, sub-family Chenopodiaceae, also known as the "Goose Foot" family
  • Harvest season: April if overwintered, otherwise June for outdoor spinach. Greenhouse spinach can be found year round, but sometimes is only available in spurts. 
  • Botanical details: Spinach is related to beets, and chard.
  • Great source of*: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, manganese, and, if that wasn't enough, iron! 

*contains more than 10% of the recommended daily allowance for these nutrients

How to care for me:

  • Keep me loosely wrapped in a paper towel inside a plastic bag, I am best if eaten in 5 days!  

Pairings:

  • I have a mild taste, and with a neutral palette there are endless options for pairings. Try matching with fish, lemon and garlic; eggs, mushrooms and cheese; or even ricotta filled ravioli! Try me raw, steamed, sautéed, or baked into a variety of dishes.

How to cook me: 

Fun Facts:

  • In the 1930’s spinach growers credited Popeye with a 33% increase in the domestic consumption of spinach.
  • Medieval artists extracted green pigment from spinach to use as an ink or paint.
  • Catherine de' Medici -- who was from Florence, Italy -- was said to love spinach. That's why dishes that are served on a bed of spinach are referred to as "Florentine." 
  • California produces 74-percent of the fresh spinach grown in the United States.
  • Two U.S. cities claim to be the ‘spinach capital of the world’: Crystal City, Texas and Alma, Arkansas. Each April in Alma, there’s a spinach festival.