Rush-based grower Colm Leonard is this week preparing to send the first of this year’s new season Irish spinach to Tesco stores throughout Ireland. Tesco will be the first retailer to stock new season Irish spinach this year, supplied by grower Colm Leonard, which will be in season from April to December. Colm Leonard’s family have been farming in Rush for four generations and supply perpetual spinach and kale to Tesco.
Despite kale’s recent popularity as a super food, Popeye’s favourite leafy green vegetable remains popular with shoppers and Tesco expects to sell 17 tonnes of fresh Irish perpetual spinach this season. This green leafy vegetable is rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, managanese, zinc and selenium in addition to being rich in anti-cancer flavonoids and anti-inflammatory properties.
Commenting about the early spinach, Tesco Ireland Fresh Buyer, Sinead McDonogh, said “From the same family as chard, this crop has been grown over winter so Colm is set to be the first grower in the country to supply early Irish grown perpetual spinach this year with other growers expected to cut new season Irish spinach in three weeks’ time. Spinach and kale are proving increasingly popular with Irish shoppers for cooking and juicing with new season kale expected to be cut next month.”
Best stored in the salad drawer of the fridge for 1-2 days, perpetual spinach is a strong green leafy vegetable that can be served as a salad vegetable or as a side dish such as the garlic spinach side recipe included below. To prepare spinach for a salad, place the leaves in a colander and pour over a kettle of boiling water which will cause the spinach leaves to wilt in seconds. For a richer flavour, toss the spinach leaves in butter.
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp chilli flakes
4-6 tbsp vegetable oil
480g spinach leaves
Add the thinly sliced garlic and chilli flakes to cold oil in a large frying pan or wok and then turn the hob to its lowest setting. Gently fry the garlic until golden for about 8 -10 minutes, to bring out its toasty aroma.
Turn up the heat and add half of the spinach. Stir until the leaves have reduced in volume and then add the balance of the spinach. Cook for 2 minutes until the leaves have wilted.
New season Irish grown perpetual spinach will be available in the 149 Tesco stores throughout Ireland at a cost of €2.19 per bag / €8.42 per kg.