Maninas is hosting a competition this month based on cooking with your favourite ingredient.  The prize (actually, prizes as there are five of them) is a copy of Marcus Waring’s “One Perfect Ingredient“.  After putting up yet another shelf in my kitchen, I promised Dad that I would not buy any more cookbooks unless I got rid of one first.  But if I win a cookbook… Well, I don’t think that would count!  Do you?  No?  Good.  So here’s my entry…

 Beloved by Popeye, despised by young children: spinach is most definitely one of my most treasured ingredients and I am never without it.  Last year when I attempted to grow food for the first time, spinach was the first crop to peek it’s leafy little head out of the ground.  Later in the summer, when my beans had failed and my roots were attacked by the evil carrot fly, the spinach was growing so well I began bagging and freezing bunches to see me through winter. 

Not only is spinach a faithful crop, it is also ridiculously good for us and very versitile.  High in vitamins A, K, C and B, spinach features almost daily in my salads, soups, curries and side dishes.  The following is currently my favourite way of eating spinach.  Light and tasty, this dish keeps well for up to five days and makes a perfect packed lunch.   

 Bulgar with Spinach

1 cup bulgar

2 cups light stock

1 tblspn cumin

1 tspn fennel seeds, crushed

1 red onion

2 – 3 handfuls fresh baby spinach

50 g raisins

50 g walnuts (bashed)

Handful of parsley

Handful of mint

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

  • Add the bulgar, cumin and stock to a pan.  Bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and cover.  Let simmer for 10 – 15 mins until the bulgar has absorbed all of the stock.  Cool then fluff up with a fork.
  • In a large bowl mix the bulgar, spinach, fennel, onion, sultanas, walnuts, parsley and mint. 
  • Add half the lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and seasoning.  Combine gently and have a nibble.  Add extra seasoning, lemon juice or oil to taste. 

16 thoughts on “Spinach

  1. That is exactly the sort of dish I love to eat for lunch Wendy. There are endless variations and I love the idea of adding raisins. You are so lucky having the room to grow food. I try to grow things on my balcony (flat in London) and it works well but isn’t quite the same! I even have growbags standing on their ends for my potatoes! I love this peek into your life and I always enjoy the light in the photos. I thought that was one of the best things about Scotland when I visited.

  2. I love the sound of this combination. I’m especially fond of mint and parsley used together, and I love it in tabbouli, which also has bulgur, so this is a natural for me.

  3. I’m so happy spinach grows well for you. For me, it is a complete dud. I’ve switched my allegiance to chard, for at least I can grow it.

    This does sound like a wonderful salad–light, bright, and a great lunch.

    Happy Easter!

  4. This spinach recipe sounds delicious. Quinoa would be another grain that would go well with this, especially if one were “wheat-free”.

    Enjoyed your love of spinach I can relate, and when you grow it yourself … what could be better?

    Funny that quinoa is my latest food love!

  5. hi there – couldn’t find anywhere to mail you so thought I’d leave it in the comments section! Would you mind popping a link to my blog on yours and i’ll do the same? I know, i’m shameless, but if you don’t ask you don’t get…

    Email me back if you’d like.

    Thanks for your time,


  6. Gen – 🙂 Don’t let Rufus near it!

    Johanna – Will tell my Dad to pop in if he’s passing your way. 😉

    Helen – Wow! You are a dedicated food grower indeed!

    Kalyn – Mint and parsley are some of my favourites too.

    Phantom Chef – Enjoy!

    Christina – I bought chard seeds last year and forgot to grow them. This year, for sure. Happy Easter to you too!

    Meg – I have to give quinoa another chance. Think I will do just as you suggest and try this recipe out with it.

    William – Will check out your blog when I get back from my hols. 🙂

    Brianna – Happy Easter to you too! 🙂

  7. Oh Wendy, I love the photo of the new baby spinach! Spring is on the way!!! Get rid of cookbooks!!! Oh no way, just hide them under your bed!

  8. Lovely recipe Wendy. Read it at exactly the right time – when I was thinking about what to have for dinner. So I made your spinach and bulgur for dinner last night.

    I didn’t have exactly the same ingredients, so I made a few substitutions- beetroot leaves for spinach and shallots for red onion. Plus I topped it off with a couple of poached eggs.

    But it was an easy and delicious dinner. Thanks for posting this.

  9. Deb – Hiding them as we speak!

    Kathryn – Very glad you enjoyed it! And thanks for the link. 🙂

    Maninas – Look forward to the round up!

    Rosa – Washing it and drying it is a pain. Little globs of water seem to hide for hours in the crevices.

  10. Pingback: One Perfect Ingredient - THE ROUND-UP! « Maninas: Food Matters

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