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Native to Asia, these leafy vegetables have been grown in Europe for centuries; they are easy to cultivate, and the production lasts throughout the winter and throughout the spring. They tolerate freezing very well, in fact they are among the most widespread frozen vegetables.
These are annual herbaceous plants, which produce small rosettes of wrinkled leaves, not too compact, which are grown after cooking, steaming or boiled. The botanical name is spinacia oleracea.
These vegetables are also grown in greenhouses, for a production that covers all months of the year.
The leaves are fleshy, with a petiole that can reach 10 cm and a flap that can reach 20 cm. The leaves are gathered in groups. They have male and female flowers.
For the cultivation of this kind of vegetable, it is advisable to choose a light, well-drained soil. For a rather fast growth it is advisable that these vegetables have a good environmental humidity, without however the formation of water stagnation, which can quickly lead to the onset of rot. It is a variety that is well resistant to winter temperatures. It has a rather short life cycle and is therefore used as a variety to be cultivated among others in the winter period. It is sown around the month of September. The soil should be prepared by aerating it to a depth of about 30 cm. They should be sown at a distance of about 20 30 cm, buried at a depth of about 2 cm. Spinacia oleracea is harvested after about a month and a half or two.
They are a rather rustic variety that is not often attacked by pests and diseases, also taking into account the fact that winter temperatures allow a scarce spread of pests.
Spinach is rich in mineral salts and fibers; they are also quite rich in iron, even if, as happens with other vegetables, this iron is not easily absorbed by the body, so it is a legend when it is said that spinach would contain iron in quantities similar to meat, or that they are a valid cure for anemia.
The younger and softer leaves are also eaten fresh, raw, in salads.
There are many recipes based on spinach, spread throughout Europe; these vegetables are often consumed simply cooked in a little water and then seasoned, or sautéed in a pan, with oil, or butter, and with nutmeg or garlic.
Spinach - Spinacia: Various recipes
500 g of boiled and squeezed spinach
1 boiled potato
50 g parmesan cheese
50 g chopped pan
50 g ricotta
salt, pepper, nutmeg
Chop the spinach with a knife, crush the potato with a fork. In a bowl mix the ricotta with the Parmesan and mix with the man; add the spinach and the mashed potato; add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Mix the ingredients well, if the mixture is very soft, add the mixture to dry it slightly.
We make small meatballs, which we will pass into flour and then fry in boiling oil until they produce a thin crispy crust.
To be served hot.