This section is from the book "Hints To Housewives On How To Buy, How To Care For Food", by Mayor Mitchel's Food Supply Committee. Also available from Amazon: Hints to Housewives on How to Buy, How to Care for Food.
To clean the spinach cut off the roots, break the leaves apart and drop them into a large pan of water, rinse them well in this water and put them in a second pan of water. Continue washing in clean waters until there is not a trace of sand on the bottom of the pan in which the vegetable was washed. If the spinach is at all wilted let it stand in cold water until it becomes fresh and crisp. Drain off the water and blanch. For half a peck of spinach have in a large saucepan 2 quarts of boiling water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Put the drained spinach in the boiling water and let it boil ten minutes, counting from the time it begins to boil. When it begins to boil draw the cover of the saucepan a little to one side to allow the steam to escape. At the end of ten minutes pour the spinach into a colander, and when the hot water has passed off pour cold water over it. Save the water in which the spinach was cooked for cream of spinach soup. Let it drain well and mince coarse or fine, as is suitable for the manner in which it is to be served.
One peck of spinach will make about 1 1/2 pints when blanched and minced.
1/2 peck spinach
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 pint milk
Blanch and mince the spinach. Put the butter or drippings in a saucepan and on the fire. When hot add the flour and stir until smooth, then add the minced spinach and the salt and pepper. Cook for five minutes, then add the milk, hot, and cook three minutes longer. Serve.
1/2 peck spinach
3 tablespoons butter or drippings
1/2 teaspoonful pepper
3 teaspoons salt
Wash and blanch the spinach, using two teaspoons of the salt in the water in which the vegetable is boiled. Drain the blanched spinach and chop rather fine, return it to the saucepan, and add the salt, pepper and butter or drippings. Place on the fire and cook ten minutes. Heap in a mound on a hot dish and garnish with the hard - boiled eggs, cut in slices.
This delicious spring vegetable should be treated very simply, yet carefully.
Cut off the woody part, scrape the lower part of the stalks. Wash well and tie in bunches. Put into a deep stew-pan with the cut end resting on the bottom of the stew-pan. Pour in boiling water to come up to the tender heads, but not to cover them. Add a teaspoon of salt for each quart of water. Place where the water will boil. Cook until tender, having the cover partially off the stew-pan. This will be from fifteen to thirty minutes, depending upon the freshness and tenderness of the vegetable. Have some slices of well-toasted bread on a platter. Butter them slightly. Arrange the cooked asparagus on the toast, season with butter and a little salt and serve at once. Save the water in which the asparagus was boiled to use in making vegetable soup.
Another method of cooking asparagus is to cut all the tender part into short pieces. Add boiling water enough to just cover the vegetable and place where the water will boil. Cook until tender (about fifteen minutes), season with salt and butter, and serve in the greater part of the juice.
If preferred, a cream dressing may be served with asparagus.