Monday, March 9, 2015
Spring Greens season is here - make some Saag
Spinach is one of the first greens to pop up in the garden in the spring. Amazingly, spinach can germinate in cold soils, as cold as 33 °F! I usually plant spinach in the fall, when it germinates easily in the warm soil. When the cold weather comes, it hibernates for the winter. As soon as the soil warms up again in the spring, it's off and running. That makes spinach the very first green to make it to my table.
I posted this recipe for Saag Paneer, which is Indian Greens with Cheese (or tofu if you prefer - it's easier to find than the fresh cheese and much cheaper). The original recipe called for frozen spinach, which is inexpensive and available year-round. But, this being the start of spring greens, you can make it with fresh spinach. Substitute 2 bunches of coarsely chopped fresh spinach for the frozen spinach and make the original recipe as written.
If you do use fresh garden or farmers' market spinach, make sure you wash it well (the process is described in this recipe for sautéed kale) because it holds onto sand and gritty greens is way icky.
Nowadays, you can also get bags of triple-washed fresh spinach, which is a great leap forward for spinach. You'll need a big bag of spinach for this, 20-24 oz. worth.