of the pan. Boil uncovered from 15 to 25 minutes, occasionally pressing it down, and turning it over with a wooden spoon. When done, rub it through a fine sieve; put it into a stewpan with the butter, season well with pepper, sprinkle in the flour, and stir over the fire for 5 or 6 minutes. Serve on a hot dish garnished with croûtons of fried or toasted bread, or fleurons of puff-paste.
Time.—From 20 to 30 minutes. Average Cost, from 2d. per lb. Sufficient for 4 or 5 persons. Seasonable, spring spinach from March to July; winter spinach from November to March.
Spinach (Fr. epinards).—A genus of plant belonging to the natural order Chenopodiacae. Its leaves are shaped like worms, and of a succulent kind. In its geographical distribution spinach is commonly found in extra-tropical and temperate regions, where it grows as a weed in waste places and among rubbish, and in marshes by the sea shore. In the tropics the genus is rarely found. Many of the species are used as pot-herbs, and some of them are emetic and vermifuge in their medicinal properties. Spinach has been cultivated in our gardens since the end of the seventeenth century. It is not very nutritious, but it is wholesome and easily digested. It is very light and laxative. Wonderful properties have been ascribed to spinach. It is an excellent vegetable, used sometimes in salads, but more usually eaten cooked.
1607.—SPINACH WITH BROWN GRAVY. (Fr.—Epinards au Jus.)
Ingredients.—4 lbs. of spinach, 4 tablespoonfuls of brown gravy, 1 tablespoonful of flour, salt and pepper.
Method.—Prepare and cook the spinach as in the preceding recipe. Rub it through a fine sieve, put it into a stewpan with the butter, gravy, and a little pepper, sprinkle in the flour, and stir over the fire until the puréeacquires a thick creamy consistency. The spinach may be piled on croûtons of fried bread, and garnished with leaves, or other small designs of puff-paste, or white of egg.
Time.—From 20 to 30 minutes. Average Cost, from 2d. per lb. Sufficient for 4 to 5 persons. Seasonable from November to July.
1608.—SPINACH WITH CREAM. (Fr.—Epinards à la Crême.)
This recipe differs from the preceding one, Epinards au Jus, only in having 4 tablespoonfuls of cream substituted for the brown gravy.
Varieties of Spinach.—These comprise the strawberry spinach, which, under that name, was wont to be grown in our flower-gardens; the Good King Harry, the Orach or Garden Spinach, the Prickly-fruited and the Smooth-fruited, are the varieties commonly used. The Orach is a hardy sort, much esteemed in France, and is a native of Tartary, introduced in 1548. The common spinach has its leaves round, and is softer and more succulent than any of the Brassica tribe.
1609.—SPINACH WITH POACHED EGGS. (Fr.—Epinards aux Oeufs Pochés.)
Ingredients.—2 or 3 lb. of spinach purée, 6 poached eggs, fleurons of puff-paste, croûtons of fried bread.
Method.—Prepare the purée according to directions given in any