Blanched spinach is a lifesaver when you need a vegetable dish in a flash. A simple dressing is all you need to take it to the next level.
• 1 bunch Asian spinach
• 1 tbsp soy sauce
• ½ tsp sesame oil
• 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• pinch of sugar
Wash the spinach well and soak in a sink or large bowl of cold water for at least 15 minutes to hydrate the spinach and wash away any dirt trapped near the stems. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and plunge in the spinach roots first and hold (with the leaves out of the water) for 30 seconds. Push the leaves under the water with a pair of tongs and boil for 60 seconds. Remove the spinach from the hot water and submerge again in cold water to refresh the greens. (You can keep the spinach blanched in a bowl of cold water in the fridge for about 5 days.)
For the dressing, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, lemon juice and sugar together and stir well.
Remove the spinach from the water and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Holding the squeezed spinach as a whole bunch, cut the roots off and cut the entire bunch into 5cm lengths. Stack the bunches of spinach on a plate and spoon over the dressing.
Adam's tip My grandmother taught me to blanch green vegetables in salted water with just a touch of sugar added. The sugar, she says, helps to preserve the colour. I'm not sure if she's right, but I do it to this day.