You’ll all agree that supermarkets tend to be fairly generic, drab spaces that people frequent only out of necessity. As food bloggers we soon grow weary of these commercial husks for being entirely unenticing and lacking in variety. However, it seems that UK based supermarket chain Morrisons, known for being the smallest and least corporate of the large supermarkets, is bucking the trend with surprising effect. For instance, the Aberystwyth ‘branch’ has recently undergone what I can only describe as a major upgrade and now offers a reasonably comprehensive variety of fresh fruit and veg. Any supermarket that offers five types of chard and four types of kale has succeeded in securing a tentative thumbs-up from this quarter – though I would, of course, rather support local business.
Of course, this development meant that I simply had to indulge in a little culinary experimentation. As you can see, oriental spinach is one ingredient that really caught my eye. As a result of its large, dark-green leaves it has a far more appealing appearance than normal spinach. Oriental spinach also has a darker and more interesting flavour than its more commonly used counterpart, making it perfect for simple dishes like this. For those of you that have green fingers, oriental spinach is ideally suited to mild climates as a result of its hardy nature and can be grown well into autumn. However, it should be noted that common spinach would make a more than acceptable replacement. In terms of mushrooms, I chose shiitake for their buttery, luxurious quality, but if you haven’t access to them any mushroom would suffice.
Now, for a little FrugalFeeding update! A notorious Australian recently made known her desire that I should create a recipe index. Presumably, this is because it is immoral to make it more difficult than it should be for everyone to access my incredible recipes (or something like that). However, little did my crow eating friend know (apparently ‘Croweater’ is a term used to describe the resident of Victoria) I already have one in production. So, keep your eyes fixed on my Facebook and Twitter feeds in the coming days for news of what will surely be an indispensable addition.
• 1 large bunch of oriental spinach, roughly torn
• 5-6 shitake mushrooms, sliced
• 1 baby pak choi, whole leaves
• 2 spring onions, finely sliced
• 1 clove of garlic, mashed
• 25g salted butter
1. Melt the butter in a large pan, throw in the mushrooms and garlic and cook for 2 minutes on a high heat.
2. Add the spinach and pak choi to the pan and toss just to coat the leaves in butter and warm them through – this should take no more than about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately, scattering the spring onions over each portion.
Cost: Shiitake mushrooms aren’t the cheapest around, but when used conservatively they won’t set you back an awful lot (60p in this case) and can really serve transform a dish. Happily, oriental spinach isn’t really any more expensive than common spinach so that didn’t pose any problem at all. Consequently, this salad will set you back a rather frugal £2.40!