There’s a good reason Popeye loved spinach – it’s packed with nutrition! And because it is quite hardy, it’s one of the first local greens you’ll find in the markets, and maybe in your own garden. Spinach can be chopped and added to any cooked dish to add flavor, nutrition, and fiber. Throw handfuls in your morning smoothie, chop finely to slip into lasagna, or chop to add to your morning eggs. The flavor is mild enough that it will blend with your other ingredients.

Look for bright green, crisp leaves of spinach. They might range from just a few inches to larger than the palm of your hand. Keep them in a plastic bag in the fridge, and leaves will probably stay fresh a week or more. Always give them a good rinse before use.

Besides using in salads and adding to cooked recipes, consider using spinach for a creative side dish! Try chopping some bright spring fruit, such as cherries or rhubarb, and add to a hot skillet with a little olive oil. Add a sprinkle of salt, and a dash of red pepper flakes to taste. Cook until softened, then add a generous splash of dry white wine and your chopped spinach. Stir the spinach into the steaming mixture just until softened, then serve alongside your favorite grilled meats, fish, or on rice!