Spinach is plentiful in the spring and makes wonderful dishes whether you use it raw in salads, chop it up to add to soups and sauces, sauté it on the stove top, or bake it in the oven. Here are two of our favorite ways to eat delicious nutritious spinach.

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

recipe by Jenn Segal at Once Upon A Chef

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallots, from 1 to 2 shallots
  • 2½ tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons honey
  • 1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Heaping ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Several grinds fresh black pepper
  • 6 oz (about 8 cups) baby spinach
  • 8 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 3 hard/soft boiled eggs, thinly sliced or cut into wedges

Directions:

  1. Place the bacon in a medium nonstick skillet and fry over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. While the bacon cooks, start the dressing: in a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel–lined plate.
  4. Pour the bacon fat into a heatproof bowl, then return 4 tablespoons of the bacon fat to the skillet. (You can discard the remaining bacon fat or save it if you’d like it for cooking.) Add the shallots to the skillet and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Do not brown.
  5. Add the bacon fat and shallots from the skillet to the vinegar mixture and whisk to combine. Add the spinach and mushrooms and toss to coat evenly. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary. Divide the salad between 4 plates or bowls; evenly divide the egg and cooked bacon among them. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

When you want something warm and decadent, my Spinach Gratin is the spring-time recipe you didn’t know you craved.

Spinach Gratin

adapted from a recipe at Everyday Dishes

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons  salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 big bags of fresh spinach, rough-chopped
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, lightly coat a 2-qt casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside. Place a large skillet over medium heat then melt butter. Add onions and cook 3–4 minutes until translucent. Add garlic then cook 1 additional minute.
  2. Add flour then cook, stirring constantly for 1 additional minute. Add milk, salt and nutmeg and stir until combined. Bring liquid to a bubble then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
  3. Add spinach and Parmesan cheese to sauce and stir until completely combined. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
  4. Transfer to prepared baking dish and sprinkle with Gruyere cheese. Bake for 28–30 minutes or until cheese becomes golden and dish is hot and bubbly. Makes 8-10 servings.
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