Lebanese cuisine makes it easy to eat your spinach (or your Swiss Chard, as the case may be). My fresh bag full of curly, gorgeous spinach came from Pond Hill Farm, where they grow their greens in a bright white greenhouse on their property all year long. My visit to the farm on Sunday was surreal, with signs of winter’s fallow everywhere, all under the heat of a March summer sun that wouldn’t quit. I picked up a jar of their apple sauce too—no sugar—that was so naturally sweet that every last bite is now gone.
But we’re talking about spinach, right? Right. Spinach is one of the World’s Healthiest Vegetables, something everybody’s body could use more of. But clean as spinach may be in its nutrient profile, clean it is not when it comes to grit. All of that vibrant green curl that makes us do a spinach double-take also attracts dirt, and lots of it. So if your spinach is not the pristine pre-washed kind, please, I beg of you, employ the three times approach to rinsing it in a deep bowl or bucket of cold water. Mine actually took five rinses before I was satisfied with a clean rinse.
My favorite way to eat spinach is in Lebanese spinach pies, or fatayar, which we’re making this week. Fatayar can be made with fresh or frozen chopped spinach, and they come out delicious either way. Can’t say the same for the sheet pan; heavy-duty is our one and only for baking these babies up just right.