How to stem
and clean fresh spinach
the stem from a spinach leaf, fold the leaf in half along the spine, grasp the
bottom of the stem and tear toward the tip of the leaf.
varieties of spinach have flat, smooth leaves, others have thick, crinkly
leaves, but they're all best when young and tender.
Check the stem to gauge tenderness and age
A thin, flexible stem indicates a tender, young plant.
Choose these spinach leaves for salads or recipes where the spinach is served
raw. Thick, fibrous stems mean more mature, tougher plants, which are best
suited for cooking.
crisp, bright green leaves with no dark, bruised patches or yellowing. I
like to buy loose leaves or bunches so I can judge their quality. Store fresh
spinach in a dry plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper, where it will keep
for two to three days.
stems, even of some young leaves, are fibrous, stringy, and difficult to eat,
especially after cooking. Remove the stems before washing (see the photo
above right); discard them or save them to add to a vegetable stock. I don't
bother removing the stems from truly tender, small leaves with equally tender,
To clean spinach, swish in a basin of cold water to get out
sandy, spinach must be washed carefully
To clean spinach, swish in a basin of cold water, let sit
for a minute, and then lift into a colander to drain. Dump the water and repeat
(see the photo at right). After doing this, taste a leaf. If you detect even
the slightest bit of grit, wash the leaves again.