Spinach is an enormously popular green used in almost every cuisine in the world. Its dark green oblong leaves provide substantial iron, protein, calcium, and many other nutrients.
As well documented as spinach’s health benefits are, have you ever wondered, can spinach be used in a salad.
If you have, then keep reading.
In this article, we will discuss:
- Can spinach be used for a salad?
- Can you eat spinach raw in a salad?
- How do you wash spinach for a salad?
- How do you cut spinach for a salad?
- How do you wash and dry spinach without a salad spinner?
So Can Spinach Be Used for Salad?
Yes, you can use spinach in salads. Spinach can be eaten raw in a fresh salad. Younger leaves are best for this.
Spinach can also be wilted or lightly steamed and chopped to add texture, color, and flavor to pasta salads. You can even use it in cooked salads like stir-fries.
Keep in mind, older spinach leaves have a deeper flavor and are coarser in texture. If your taste runs more to sweeter flavors and smoother consistencies, you will want to use baby spinach in your dishes.
If your pallet runs more to the robust, savory side, older leaves will be more to your liking.
Can You Eat Spinach Raw in a Salad?
Spinach is delicious raw in salads. Its gentle sweetness and earthy undertones brighten the taste of other salad toppings, yet it has enough backbone to stand up to the heaviest salad dressings without getting lost.
People usually use younger, more tender spinach leaves for green salads, but that is purely a matter of personal preference.
How Do You Wash Spinach for a Salad?
There are several methods of washing spinach for a salad, and they are all equally effective.
Traditional Method of Washing Spinach
- The most traditional method of washing spinach is to trim the stems just below the leaf and place your spinach into a sink or large bowls of cool water.
- Agitate them gently with your hand, and then allow them to sit quietly for several minutes while the dirt settles.
- Remove your leaves and place them in a colander to drain.
- Pat your leaves dry with a kitchen or paper towel.
Colander Method of Washing Spinach
- Trim the stems from your spinach leaves.
- Place your greens in a colander and rinse under cool running water while gently rubbing and turning them with your fingers.
- Allow spinach to drain, giving a gentle shake every few minutes to help disperse the water.
- Pat dry.
Salad Spinner Method of Washing Spinach
- Salad spinners make life simple. Trim the stems from your spinach leaves.
- If you are going to cut your leaves, go ahead and do so now.
- Place your spinach leaves in your spinner basket.
- Rinse your leaves under cool running water.
- Return your basket to your salad spinner and spin according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Centrifugal force should remove water and dirt from your greens.
- Pat dry if needed.
How Do You Cut Spinach for a Salad?
The stems are edible, but your spinach will be more tender and have less chance of tasting bitter if you remove the stalks. If you are using younger leaves for your salad, all you need to do is trim the stems before using them.
For older spinach leaves, the easiest method is to use a pair of kitchen shears to remove the fibrous stems and cut the leaves to the desired size.
How Do You Wash and Dry Spinach Without a Salad Spinner
More detailed instructions are supplied above, but the general idea is to either soak your spinach leaves in cool water, allowing the dirt to settle, or place your trimmed spinach leaves in a colander and rinse under cool running water.
In either case, you will need to drain your spinach and pat the leaves dry with a towel before using it in a salad.