Published May 1, 2008.
Baby spinach is convenient—no stems to remove or grit to rinse out—but cooking turns this tender green into a watery mess. Is there a way to get the water out and create a worthwhile side dish?
Baby spinach is great for salads, but not for cooking. Tender, young baby spinach releases a lot of liquid when it hits a hot pan, making it watery and mushy.
We wanted to figure out a way to substitute baby spinach for bigger, mature flat-leaf spinach in cooking.
Wilting, blanching, and steaming proved to be unsuccessful in removing excess water from baby spinach. How about microwaving? After three minutes, the spinach had softened and shrunk to half its size, thanks to the release of a great deal of liquid. But there was still more water to remove. We found that pressing the spinach against the colander before roughly chopping it on a cutting board and then pressing it again removed the remaining excess liquid and eliminated the risk of mushiness. The spinach was now tender, sweet, and ready to be combined with complementary ingredients. Pairing almonds and raisins, or pecans and feta, introduced bold flavors and textures that enlivened this quick-cooking green.list of recipes