Spinach is a cool-weather crop grown in spring and fall here. Its flavor and quality are strongly influenced by weather, being adversely affected by heat and far sweeter and tastier during cold conditions. We find that overwintered spinach, harvested in January through early spring, is the sweetest spinach of the year.
HANDLING & STORAGE
We rinse, spin-dry, & chill spinach very quickly upon harvest to maximize its shelf life. Like all greens, spinach should still be washed again in the home kitchen before use. Spinach that was in good condition at harvest time can store for up to two weeks in a bag in the fridge if it has been dried in a salad spinner before storage, though the quality will be best in the first week. Shelf life may be shorter if leaves were hail damaged or had other blemishes/damage.
IN THE KITCHEN
Spinach can be used cooked or raw, though we prefer its raw uses as that maximizes the flavor and there are plenty of other cooking greens available. Regardless, don’t overcook it, just add it in at the last moment. Soggy, overcooked spinach loses most of its nutrients and quality.
– Spinach salad with whatever toppings you prefer; don’t over-dress
– Soups & pastas benefit from a last-minute addition of chopped spinach
– Egg dishes like omelets and frittatas are perfect pairs with spinach, as are baked dishes like lasagnas
Like most cooking greens, spinach can be frozen by blanching it in boiling water for a couple minutes, chilling, squeezing out the water, and packing into freezer containers; more details from the National Center for Home Food Preservation. The volume reduction is dramatic (and somewhat depressing), though it means that a lot of greens can go in a small space in the freezer.
VARIETIES WE GROW
Monstrueux de Viroflay (for overwintering)