Blanching spinach reduces the acidic taste, softens the fiber and aids absorption of valuable nutrients.
It also reduces the volume; nearly half kilo of spinach, when blanched, will just be enough to make a plateful of salad as part of a family meal, what a great way to eat a lot of this wonderful leafy vegetable!
I like to make several big bunches at the same time, then chill or freeze them for use over the next few days or weeks.
Get everything ready before you start. The actual blanching process happens very fast. Since it takes longer to soften the stems than the leaves, I always submerge the stems into hot water first. It’s also very important to work in batches so the spinach is blanched quickly in hot water.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil on high heat.
- Submerge a handful of spinach, roots down, into the boiling water. Leave the leafy part above the water. Blanch for one minute or until the stem turns bright green and become soft.
- Put the entire spinach in the water for another 20 – 30 seconds.
- Take the spinach out into a large bowl of cold water to stop cooking.
- Cool under cold running water, drain and pat dry.
- Seal in plastic bags then chill or freeze.
When you want to use the frozen spinach, just take it out of the freezer bag and drop straightaway into big pot of boiling water. Stir it to help heat the spinach evenly. As soon as the spinach is no longer rigid, take it out and cool completely under running water. It’s ready for you salad now.