Ten ways to enjoy more spring spinach

Each spring, spinach is the first package of seeds I scatter over the earth in our backyard garden. It’s a hearty seedling and easy to grow, and brings a welcome touch of green to our menu after a long winter.

Spinach precedes asparagus, artichokes and most other spring produce, which means we’re adding it to everything in May. Fortunately spinach is very versatile, as this post demonstrates.

As a rule, if you are enjoying your spinach raw (salads and smoothies) choose baby spinach, which will be tender and slightly sweeter. If you’re cooking the spinach, choose mature, larger-leaf spinach and remove the stems before cooking. Once picked, spinach does spoil quite quickly, so keep this post handy for when you need to add a little green (and iron) to you diet.

From breakfast to dinner, here are ten ways to enjoy more spring spinach.

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Warm salmon & spinach salad with roasted beets, avocado, feta and olives

We did a quick road trip over the Easter long weekend to the coast. Specifically, the East Coast. More specifically, Halifax.

What? That’s faaaaar, you say? Too much driving for a weekend? Naw. We stretched the weekend to five days, and took our time getting there, visiting family in Quebec City and friends in Moncton. Besides, we’re seasoned travellers – especially the kiddos.

We enjoyed a much-needed break in one of Canada’s most charming cities, and spent most of our Easter Sunday beachcombing at Crystal Crescent Beach and scaling the bluffs at Herring Cove. Glorious. We spent a slow grey morning sipping lattes at our favourite café and ate lobster, fish and chips at a dive diner. It felt like a mini vacation.

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Spinach Salad with Grilled Strawberries, Asparagus and Walnuts

One warm evening after dinner last week, we found the first wild strawberries ripening in our small patch out by the garden. Clara, barefoot and hatless as usual, parted the thick leaves with her small hands and there they were, as bright as rubies and as sweet as candy.

Earlier that same day, I picked up two baskets of the first locally cultivated strawberries, and henceforth there will be strawberries on our table for as long as the season flourishes. We really only eat them when they can be grown ourselves or bought locally, so the arrival of the red gems is much celebrated.

I’ve promised the children an upcoming dinner devoted entirely to strawberries, as soon as the fruit is at its peak. Today’s scrumptious salad will definitely be on the menu, perhaps alongside strawberry-glazed grilled chicken, with fresh strawberry pie or roasted strawberry sundaes for dessert.

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Spinach Crepes with Maple-Stewed Blueberries

The evening I prepped this recipe was just like any other. I puttered barefoot in the kitchen to the tunes of Buena Vista Social Club, music I am revisiting and finding as just moving as the first time I heard ‘Chan Chan‘.

I cracked eggs and beat them with flour, melted butter and sauteed spinach into a crepe batter that would chill while we slept, or supposedly slept. There was no way I could have known what the night held, although little Clara had been nursing a cough during the day and was reaching for me to cuddle more than usual.

The last of my prep finished, the table set for the morning, and the final email sent, I headed upstairs to wind down for the night. It was close to eleven, and it had been a long day. A long week. A leisurely Saturday morning breakfast and the whole weekend stretched out before us, full of projects and plans, among them an autumn hike in the fall foliage of the Laurentians.

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