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I bought some frozen plain spinach yesterday and got the one without creme sauce, to reduce the amount of fat. Tried to cook it today with some salt and a little bit of butter, but the result was very bland and boring.

What are essential spices for spinach to get a nice taste?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by rumtscho Feb 19 at 18:48

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Just to clarify: This is tagged [sauce] and you mention a cream sauce in the question; are you asking about making a spinach sauce specifically or just preparing spinach in general? –  Aaronut Nov 21 '10 at 16:19
Removed. Was a bit eager with the tags. –  Patrick Nov 21 '10 at 16:44
This kinda seems like a recipe request to me. Is there something other than bad spinach that you're trying to solve? –  KatieK Apr 8 '11 at 18:45

8 Answers 8

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I have 2 favorite recipes that I like to use spinach with. The first one is a salad, so I'm not sure how well it will come out with frozen spinach, but it's awesome with fresh one.

Recipe 1

Take a handful of spinach leaves, about 2 handfuls of green peas and ~100 grams of Feta cheese cut into 1/4 inch cubes(0.5cm) and mix. Add sauce of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Recipe 2

Put spinach with crushed garlic and salt in a pan with a little oil, and fry till the leaves are wilted. You can also add some Parmesan cheese to it to taste.

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That sounds good. Will try it tomorrow. Thanks! –  Patrick Nov 21 '10 at 18:02
Feta is great, but can also use cottage cheese or actual home made soft cheese –  TFD Nov 21 '10 at 23:00

Nutmeg is one of thsoe spices they almost always suggest when using Spinach. A little bit of lemon juice will bump the flavor profile up a bit, even just a splash will do ya. I also like SurDin's suggestion of adding garlic, maybe even some crushed red pepper flake just to kick it up a notch.

If you are using the spinach as a side dish (or main dish) I would highly suggest using fresh if you can get it. Frozen spinach is great as an ingredient, but if you are using it as the main focus of the dish, it tends to be a bit more bland.

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Isn't frozen spinach supposed to be better (they always say: "frozen within 5 minutes after crop)? I'll get it fresh next time, I'm really disappointed by the taste of this one. –  Patrick Nov 21 '10 at 18:04
The only problem I have is I am not sure how the frozen spinach is prepared. I know it's cooked one way or another and the method of cooking will determine how much better or worse it is for you. I do like corn and peas frozen, but that's mostly because they aren't really cooked beforehand. Not that I have anything wrong with frozen, but sometimes fresh is just better. –  FoodTasted Nov 21 '10 at 22:42
I don't think any vege matter is "better" frozen. Unless you actually want the cellular structure destroyed? –  TFD Nov 21 '10 at 22:59
@TFD: Another old wives' tale. Every frozen vegetable you buy has been quick-frozen, such as with liquid nitrogen, which prevents any significant ice crystals from forming in the cellular structure. If you freeze it yourself, then yes, you might experience such a problem. Frozen vegetables are likely to be more nutritious than fresh, unless you can get them really fresh; they just tend to be a lot less crisp. –  Aaronut Nov 21 '10 at 23:30
@TFD: That is exactly the kind of thing that should be asked as its own question. But if you must use this medium, then fine: Virtually nothing happens to frozen spinach. That's why it's frozen. If you're asking why it's limp compared to fresh spinach, that's because it's been blanched before freezing to inactivate the enzymes that actually do destroy nutrients over time. Blanching, obviously, does not do wonders for the overall texture, due to the increased water content, but the cells are still very much intact. –  Aaronut Nov 24 '10 at 3:39

Garlic. Olive oil. Bit of salt.

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I can't even imagine having spinach without garlic. –  Marti Nov 21 '10 at 18:24
Hey, I said that first! :) –  SurDin Nov 22 '10 at 6:14

A great way to use frozen spinach is the with the Indian dish of Saag Aloo

There are too many variations of this recipe to know which is real, but the basics that seem to taste good are:

In a saucepan lightly fry some small potato cubes in a little peanut or olive oil, then add your favourite Indian spices (at least cumin, turmeric, garlic). When browned cover with milk, and let simmer with lid on till the potato are nearly cooked

Add spinach (at least the same weight as the raw potato) and simmer and stir a few times until spinach falls apart and becomes sauce like

At end you can stir in some cottage cheese for extra zing

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As someone has already mentioned: Saag Aloo. Definitely my favourite spinach recipe. I kinda made this up, my recipe is:

  1. Peel & chop some potatoes into roughly 1-2 inch cubes.
  2. Par boil the potatoes in seasoned water for about 10 mins.
  3. Roast the potatoes with vegetable oil and plenty of salt & pepper in an oven @ 200 degrees C until crisp (about 30-40 mins)
  4. Meanwhile on a medium heat, fry some diced onion and garlic until the onion is soft.
  5. Add some ground cumin and ground coriander to the onion.
  6. Add plenty of spinach leaves and stir in until leaves are wilted
  7. In a food blender/processor wizz the spinach & onion spice mixture.
  8. When the potatoes are done, add mix back to pan and stir in potatoes.
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This is how I prepare frozen spinach. For one pound of spinach:

1- Chop one large onion

2- Cover the bottom of a pan with 1/8 of an inch of olive oil. Then, sautee the onion until compeletly translucent and soft and all the onion juice has evaporated. Do not let the onion brown.

3- Add spinach, still frozen and turn flame very low. Add 1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, dash of black pepper, 2 chopped garlic cloves. Cover pan and let spinach simmer gently until very soft. Stir a few times in the process.

4- Add some salt (but not too much yet). Add 1 Tablespoon lime juice or 1/2 teaspoon pomegranate molasses. The lime juice or the molasses will give the spinach a tangy taste. Stir well. Taste. If needed, increase salt to decire taste. the salt will balance the tangy taste.

5- Eat it next day, after all the flavors have come together. Preserves well in the fridge for a week. Store in a glass container.

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If you have fresh spinach, wilt them with some bacon and butter, a little salt and pepper and you're done.

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Add bacon, garlic and onion. Cook everything in bacon grease.

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