This Weekend Herb Blogging is being hosted by The Chocolate Lady at In Mol Araan.
Many of the herbs we blog about every week have long histories of use for health and healing. This week I'm praising the qualities of the 'Herb of Persia', aka: spinach.
We all know that spinach is good for us. It has loads of iron, although about 1/10th as much as ol' Popey thought (decimal point error – damn, those things are small!), lots of calcium (although not easily absorbed), vitamins A, E, and C and is a good source of folic acid.
The thing that I care most about personally, however, is how good it is for your eyes. It is very high in lutein which has been shown to prevent and possibly reverse some eye-diseases including cataracts and macular degeneration. As my mother has macular degeneration, and it's hereditary, I eat my spinach.
Spinach salads are wonderful and I have them every chance I get. Eating seasonally and locally, which is what we do, that chance is only in the spring. The rest of the year I eat frozen. I buy bags of 'single serving' balls which means I can thaw as many as I want and toss it in to just about anything.
This is one of my favorite 'spinach' recipes. The burgers stay very moist and the Mushroom Sauce is great!
Spinach Burgers with Mushroom Sauce
Time: 30 minutes
1 large onion
2 stalks celery
4 oz mushrooms
3/4 lb ground beef (mince – 350 gr)
1/2 cup cooked, chopped spinach, or frozen, thawed, & squeezed dry – about 8 oz. (220 gr)
3/4 cup red wine – 2 tbs for the patties, 2 tbs for the cornstarch and the rest for the sauce
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp thyme
1 cup beef broth
2 tbs tomato paste
1 1/2 tbs cornstarch (maizena)
2 tbs olive oil
Finely chop onion, celery, mushrooms and garlic. In large nonstick skillet over medium heat sauté half of onions, celery, garlic and mushroom about 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and set aside. Thaw and squeeze all moisture out of the spinach. In a large bowl lightly beat the egg. Add bread crumbs, 2 tbs of red wine and thyme. Mix well, then add the beef, spinach and sautéed onion mixture. Mix well – hands work best, and form into 4 patties. Heat remaining 1 tbs of oil in same skillet, add patties and sauté about 5 minutes per side. Remove, put on an oven-proof plate or platter and put in 250F (125C) oven to keep warm while you finish sauce. Add remaining onions, celery, garlic and mushrooms to skillet and sauté about 5 minutes or until tender. Add 1/2 cup red wine, beef stock and tomato paste to pan and bring to a boil. Dissolve cornstarch in remaining 2 tbs of red wine (or water) and add to sauce, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove patties from oven, pour some of the sauce over and serve with remaining sauce on the side.
In the interest of good health – and because I really like it, I usually serve these with brown rice.
Even spinach haters can like this….
Remember to check with The Chocolate Lady at In Mol Araan on Monday for the complete recap of all the wonderful recipes!
Can you read this? Eat your Spinach!