Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Two to four


Appears in

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1969

  • About

The best spinach available are the tender young leaves from the garden. In metropolitan centers and during certain seasons, however, such spinach is rarely available. Spinach is one vegetable that travels well, however, and the thing to look for is dark green, unblemished leaves. Spinach is most often available in bulk or in clear plastic packages.

Spinach in bulk must be washed extremely well to remove all traces of sand. Spinach in clear plastic generally needs only one washing in cold water. When the spinach is washed it should be picked over to remove any tough stems.

Spinach should be cooked in as little water as possible, the water, in fact, that clings to the leaves when the spinach is washed.


  • 1 pound spinach
  • Water
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. Wash the spinach well in cold running water. Pick over the leaves and break off and discard any tough stems. Drain the spinach and place it in a kettle or casserole. Do not add water and do not add salt. The salt has a tendency to make the spinach look dark. Cover.

  2. Bring the spinach to a boil. It cooks quickly. When it has cooked for a minute or so, use a two-pronged fork to stir it around in the kettle, putting the cooked leaves on the top and the uncooked leaves on the bottom. Continue cooking, stirring the leaves occasionally, just until the leaves are wilted. That is enough. Drain the spinach and return it to the kettle. Or, if you desire, you may chop the spinach before returning it to the kettle. Season with salt and nutmeg and stir in the butter. Serve hot.