Malabar Spinach (Basella alba)

Ok, so here we are in the beginning of Summer, thinking the only thing green we’re going to see for a while is watermelon rind and zucchini. Well, thankfully we’ve found a summertime green that will help fill in the gap between now and Fall. It’s Malabar Spinach, and like Fennel you’re either going to love it, or hate it. But I’ll ask for you to try it a few different ways before ultimately deciding you don’t like it.

You can eat it raw. And it’s grown on me enough now that I’ll walk up to the trellis and snag a few leaves each day. I’ve never made an all out salad of it thogh, because it has a bit of a slime to it and I think a little goes a long way. Here are some recipes and links that I’ve located on the web.  As always, feel free to share specific recipes you’ve found, tried and enjoyed.


Tomato-Malaber Spinach Quiche:

Malabar Spinach with mushrooms:

Indonesian Style:

It seems any recipe with pork in soup, Malabar Spinach makes a good addition too. Lori says it would go great on pizza or in an omellette

And finally…

Malabar Spinach Soup with Chickpeas and Potatoes – From Back Bay Café, Belhaven

3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
10 cloves of garlic, chopped
6 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
2 large potatoes, cut in half lengthwise and into 1/4 inch slices
15 ounces cooked chickpeas (8 ounces dry)—if you use canned, drain and rinse well
10 ounces malabar spinach (if frozen thaw and press dry)
4 ounces roasted red peppers
Salt and pepper to taste
Sharp cheddar cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano, grated for topping
Place oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic and cook until the onion becomes translucent. Do not allow the garlic to burn, as it will taste bitter. Add the chicken stock and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Stir in the chickpeas, malabar spinach and roasted red peppers. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until chickpeas, malabar spinach and peppers are heated through. Season to taste. Serve in bowls and top with cheese. Better the second day.
If you want to add a meat to this recipe, try cooked Italian sausage cut into bite-size pieces or cooked chicken breast pulled apart in small pieces.

Categories: Kitchen | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Malabar Spinach (Basella alba)

  1. Looks great! Do you think that it tastes anything like regular baby spinach?

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