Blanched spinach is a great gift to the cook, for it will stay happily in the fridge for a day to be revived in boiling water to serve hot It is also very good in its own right as a cold salad, simply dressed with olive oil and a tiny squeeze of lemon juice. Not too much, though, as this will discolour the spinach and one of the nicest things about it is the vivid green.
Put a large pan of salted water on to heat • Destalk and pick over the spinach • Fill a large bowl with iced water.
Blanch the leaves in the rapidly boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Refresh in the iced water and drain in the colander. Gently squeeze out the water, pressing down with a wooden spoon. Do not ram it down: you don’t want a solid lump. Transfer to a bowl and toss to separate the leaves as much as you can. Put in the fridge until ready to use.
Dress the spinach with olive oil, tossing to coat evenly. Squeeze over a little lemon juice before taking to the table.
© 1993 Alastair Little and Richard Whittington estate. All rights reserved.