Cold Sesame Spinach
This cooked salad is a little bit sweet, a little bit salty, and plenty peanutty. Lots of kids who think they don’t like spinach love it.
Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your kitchen gear and ingredients and put them on a clean counter.
- Put an inch of water in the pot, lower the steamer basket in it, and add all of the spinach.
- Put the pot on the stove, cover it, and turn the heat to high.
- When steam starts coming out of the pot, set a timer for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, turn the heat off, uncover the pot, and leave the spinach to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and warm water until smooth and creamy, adding more water if you need to.
- When the spinach is cool enough to handle (about 30 minutes), lift it out of the steamer basket by the handful, and squeeze it to get rid of the extra moisture. Divide the spinach into 4 bowls, drizzle a little dressing over each, and top with the sesame seeds.
Did you know? Spinach has a lot of water in it. That’s why it shrinks so much when you cook it: the water evaporates, and what was a giant pot of spinach turns into a ball of cooked greens about the size of a grapefruit. Don’t worry: it’s still huge, nutritionwise!
Spinach might be the classic food kids aren’t supposed to like. The famous Popeye theme song—“I’m strong to the finish, ’cause I eats me spinach!”—was designed to promote the unpopular vegetable, and it worked! (Some statistics, suggest that spinach eating increased 33 percent in the 1930s.) We don’t think you’ll like eating it straight from the can (sorry, Popeye!), so we recommend figuring out how you do like it: if you don’t like spinach cooked, try it raw—as a salad, with your favorite dressing and some tart dried cranberries. If you don’t like it raw, try it cooked (see our recipe, below). But do try it: Spinach is not just delicious; it’s insanely healthy—loaded with more vitamins and minerals than almost any food you can eat. So open your mind, and think again!