HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese?
TELL US

Pairing spinach with a main dish?

j
Journey Nov 15, 2013 12:09 PM

I've been watching Master Chef (UK cooking programme). One of the professional chef judges, John Torode, is always going on about how iron-rich spinach doesn't go with whatever savory main dish the contestant has cooked. (Sorry, can't recall the dishes.)

Beyond standard recipes using spinach, how do you know how to pair it? Is there some sort of "litmus test"?

  1. monavano Nov 15, 2013 12:23 PM

    I don't get this at all. Sure, spinach has iron, but it doesn't give off a mineral taste to me at least.
    Liver? Yes. Spinach? Never evoked the same experience as liver.
    Spinach, as well as most leafy greens, are complimentary to savory dishes that run the spectrum from chicken to beef to pork to lamb.
    Sounds like a personal hang up, like Scott Conant's aversion to raw red onion and cheese combined with seafood.

    2 Replies
    1. re: monavano
      1sweetpea Nov 15, 2013 12:29 PM

      I totally agree. Sauteed spinach was a regular side to grilled whole fish with olive oil and lemon and roasted or boiled potatoes all along the Adriatic.

      I'd not only pair sauteed spinach with pretty much any protein, but I frequently toss it (or baby kale or arugula) right into stews from all over the world which have ingredients that are lacking (in my opinion) a leafy green vegetable. It saves me having to make a completely separate salad course when I don't wish to do so.

      I suppose spinach with any iron-rich organ meats might be a) redundant and b) competitive, taste-wise.

      1. re: 1sweetpea
        monavano Nov 15, 2013 12:33 PM

        To your point of spinach with olive oil and lemon, this is a perfect, bright foil for a deep braise.

    2. melpy Nov 15, 2013 12:13 PM

      I think spinach goes with most items. I like sauteed with seafood, fish or chicken/pork, creamed with beef.

      What preparations are typically for the spinach?

      1 Reply
      1. re: melpy
        chefathome Nov 15, 2013 12:16 PM

        A Croatian dish of boiled potatoes and spinach (blitva there) pairs nicely with grilled fish and meat.

      Show Hidden Posts