I Accidentally Ordered Too Much Spinach, so I Turned to Twitter for Ideas — Here's How They Saved the Day
#SpinachTwitter inspired some amazing new summer meals for my family.
My family has spent much of 2020 using a grocery delivery service instead of going to the store ourselves. It's both safe and convenient, a luxury I've been grateful for this year.
Except for that time in March when I accidentally ordered four eight-pound bags of grapefruit. Or just the other week, when once again I forgot to read the small print and ordered two containers of spinach from Costco — and received two enormous tubs instead of the small packs I was imagining.
For the record, I'm not using the word "enormous" for dramatic effect. These were restaurant-sized, barrel-ish tubs!
They contained a lot of spinach, a veritable boatload of leafy goodness that I knew would go bad long before I could use it up in a quiche or salad. What was I going to do?
In typical form, I logged on to Twitter to complain about yet another case of pandemic brain. I asked for advice, jokingly creating the hashtag #SpinachTwitter in my search for guidance. And the spinach-lovers of the internet responded in droves, flooding my mentions with ideas and recipes that blew my mind and used up every last leaf in those tubs.
Here's a small sampling of what they told me.
1. Size is an illusion.
"You think you have a lot of spinach? Just wilt it, and your ten pounds will shrink to barely filling a small serving bowl."
Hundreds tweeted this to me, assuring me that I really didn't have that much spinach, and I knew they were right… in theory. But this was a LOT of spinach. I'd wilted spinach before with a little olive oil, garlic, lemon, and salt, resulting in a tasty side dish. I needed to be bold, though, to aim for a larger main course, even with the wilting effect. #SpinachTwitter did not disappoint.
Recipe to Try: Wilted Spinach Salad
Get the Recipe: Elegant Orzo with Wilted Spinach and Pine Nuts
Many people also recommended adding wilted spinach to pasta in a variety of forms. One of my favorites turned out to be an orzo and feta dish that made my whole family happy. And it was true — I went through an entire tub of spinach via wilting alone in those first three days.
2. Blend into smoothies.
Get the Recipe: Healthy Berry and Spinach Smoothie
At least a million (maybe more) people tweeted the word "SMOOTHIES" at me, and at first I rolled my eyes and scrolled on. My kids were definitely not going to drink a bright green breakfast smoothie. Nope, not a chance.
But what if it wasn't green, one person asked? And that's where the magic happened.
3. Make pesto, of course!
Get the Recipe: Spinach Basil Pesto
But wait, isn't pesto all about the basil? I've made pesto for years and never once thought to add spinach. Would it change the texture drastically, I wondered?
It turned out to be even more delicious, adding depth of flavor to the pesto and a big punch of vitamin K, calcium, and other nutrients. It was also so easy to freeze, using up a ton of that spinach just sitting there on my counter wilting.
4. Don't forget the dips.
Get the Recipe: Avocado-Spinach Dip
Another Twitter favorite was the classic spinach dip, a mixture of spinach and cheese that can be baked with breadcrumbs or cooked stove-top into a spinach-marbled fondue. But one person recommended venturing off the beaten path with a healthy, chilled version that made my mouth water. Avocado? Jalapeños? Yes, please!
5. Try something new.
Get the Recipe: Authentic Saag Paneer
The most exciting recommendations came from Twitter users who knew their way around dishes that I'd only ever tried in restaurants before. Foods like Korean spinach salads, Pkhali (a Georgian spinach, cilantro, and walnut salad), and Saag Paneer.
Saag Paneer is one of my favorite Indian dishes, a combination of spinach and cheese that melts in the mouth. I'd never considered making it myself. But if ever there was a time to be adventurous, this was that moment, with my last remaining pile of spinach just begging to be cooked.
Watch: How to Make Saag Paneer
In the end, an outrageous amount of spinach left on my front doorstep led to a fun exploration of new recipes and cooking styles. Maybe I'll over-order on purpose next time. I'm ready to try that Pkhali.
Related: Browse our entire collection of Spinach Recipes.