One of the most versatile leaves in a chef's arsenal, spinach can make a nutritious addition to any meal or take a starring role in a complex dish. Russell Brown reports
Spinach is thought to have arrived in the UK by the 14th century, probably brought through Europe by the Arabs or the Crusaders. It also gets a mention in the first recorded English cookbook The Forme of Cury, a manuscript written by the master cooks of King Richard II, in which spinach was referred to as ‘spinnedge'. When Florence-born Catherine De Medici became Queen of France in 1533, she supposedly insisted on spinach being served with every meal, hence the French culinary reference ‘à la florentine' meaning ‘cooked with spinach'.
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