I usually keep a couple cartons of frozen chopped spinach on hand, but getting it from freezer to cook pot always feels like a bit of a production.
First, it needs to thaw, and since it’s basically a block of green ice, that takes awhile. Then the soggy spinach has to be squeezed and drained, which kinda makes a mess of my strainer and sink. And then, since by that point the spinach has turned into a solid baseball-sized lump, I have to break it into little pieces again. It’s not a terrible problem — and it’s certainly easier than growing and blanching it — but it is a deterrent.
Enter my latest brilliant idea: to do the frozen spinach prep — in bulk!
Here’s how it goes. I thaw a whole bunch of boxes all at the same time, do the drain-squeeze-shred thing, and then I place the bits of shredded spinach on a parchment-lined baking tray and flash freeze it. Once frozen, I re-package the spinach into zip-lock bags and re-freeze. Stored like so, I can grab as much (or as little) spinach as I want, and on a whim, too.
I’m loving the upgrade. Now that I’ve got spinach that’s accessible and easy (and cheap!), I pop it into white sauces, soups, quiches, scrambled eggs, whatever! Next up, green smoothies with frozen spinach. (I always thought one needed fresh spinach for smoothies, but I just took a quick whirl around the internets and learned that, according to some, frozen spinach is even better than fresh. Who knew!)
I realize my excitement might seem a little outsized — this is just spinach, after all — but it’s the little things. And spinach at the ready all the time is pretty darn awesome.