Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In Praise Of Malabar Spinach

Malabar is a climbing spinach that tastes slightly earthy. Though technically not a true spinach you use it any way you would regular spinach. It comes in a red and white variety, meaning the stems are either red or white. It loves the heat. Use the small leaves in salads and the larger ones can be sauteed or put in soups and stews. I planted it last year for the first time and found it to be a fabulous substitute for the early spring, fall and winter spinach. We eat a huge amount of spinach and really missed it during the summer months, so this has been a wonderful find. It will seed down readily, so once you plant it, you will never need to buy seed again and you will have enough plants to share with all of your friends and neighbors!
My Malabar is in my herb bed on a fairly heavy trellis. I usually plant 6-7 plants around the trellis and just let it go. I am still pulling up seedlings from last years seeds. We either eat the leaves or I toss the vine to the critters. We have eaten the Malabar twice this week. Once sauteed in a pasta dish with onions and last night we made chicken and spinach quesadillas. Yummy!

Put Malabar on your list of must do's for spring next year. You will be glad you did!

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