It’s not only completely fine to eat raw spinach, it’s also delicious. With that said, baby spinach leaves are likely to be more palatable in their raw state, though there’s nothing wrong with eating the other varieties raw.
The short answer is there’s very little that doesn’t go well with spinach. Grated nutmeg and lemon zest are two of our top picks for boosting this leafy green’s flavour. From a protein perspective, everything from anchovies to cured meats, fish and shrimp are all formidable partners. Cheese, yogurt, nuts, seeds and sliced fruit are also great combinations. You can even throw the spinach in a blender with some ginger and apple juice to make a healthy juice. The sky's the limit!
Spinach leaves are most enjoyable when as fresh as possible, so we would recommend making the salad on the day you want to consume it. Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container for five days but not only is there a higher risk of the salad spoiling at that point, it will also lose its texture. The leaves should stay firm for a couple of days or so – after that point it’s better to start from scratch if possible.
The coolness of the cucumber, fresh flavour of mint and healthy, hearty spinach makes this salad an ideal boost at lunch to give you an energy lift for the rest of the day. The dish works equally well as a main or an accompaniment to a main course, and can easily be made in larger batches if there are many mouths to feed!
Spinach is a versatile base so there are a number of options to raise your salad to the next level. For an Asian feel, combine some soy sauce, garlic, ginger and orange juice with an oil of choice and the results are spectacular. For something less salty try mixing olive oil, red vinegar and Dijon mustard.
Simple toppings that combine well with the salad include sliced apple and currants, roasted nuts like cashews or almonds, or crunchy pumpkin seeds. For an indulgent touch, why not add some crispy turkey rashers?