unless you’re cooking with a particularly robust bunch of spinach, the stalks can be cooked alongside the more tender leaves.
To cook spinach whole, lay the stalks in the bottom of a thick-based pan and fold the leaves over the top.
Smash a clove or two of garlic in its skin, nestle it in among the stalks, then drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Put the pot on a medium heat, pop a lid on top and cook without stirring for a few minutes, until sizzling, steamy and cooked through. By this point, the stems and garlic will be tender and a touch caramelised,
while the leaves will be perfectly steamed, tasty and oily. Season to taste, dress with an optional squeeze of lemon juice and serve. And if you do have some tougher stalks, separate them from the leaves, slice finely and start them off in the pot a few minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients, to soften them up. Upcycle any cooked spinach leftovers into this satisfying saag paneer.
Twice-cooked spinach paneer
Saag paneer is a favourite in our household, not least because it works really well when made with leftover or/and frozen spinach. The same approach works with almost any type of leafy green, really, including mustard, cauliflower, beetroot and turnip leaves.