• Popeye the Sailor Man’s food of choice, spinach is a wonderfully nutritious flowering plant that is equally delicious eaten raw, steamed or blanched. A popular addition to most veggie patches, it’s also sold in bunches, packaged fresh in bags, tinned or frozen.

    Spinach has a high content of valuable nutrients that include calcium and iron, as well as a variety of antioxidants.

    Three types of spinach are generally available:

    Savoy has crisp, curly leaves with a springy texture; smooth-leaf spinach is flat and even-textured with spade-shaped leaves, while semi-Savoy is similar in texture to Savoy but not as crinkled in appearance.

    Baby spinach, which is becoming increasingly popular, is great in salads, owing to its taste and delicate leaves – and you can eat it raw.

    It packs a nutritional punch in our delicious spinach, chickpea, Gorgonzola and pecan nut salad.

    Recipe and styling bu Nomvuselelo Mncube

    Photograph by Dylan Swart 

    ALSO TRY: Fragrant nourishing chicken and spinach broth

    Spinach, chickpea, Gorgonzola and pecan nut salad with grilled plums

    Serves: 4
    Cooking Time: 40 mins


    • 150g plums, halved and pips removed
    • 200g baby spinach leaves
    • 1 large green apple, cored and chopped into cubes
    • 1 x 410g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    • 150g pecan nuts, toasted and halved
    • 150g Gorgonzola, cubed

    • 45ml (3 tbsp) balsamic vinegar
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) honey
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste



    Place a griddle pan on high heat and add the plum halves, flesh-side down. Cook until you have nice sear lines and plums begin to soften, about 5 mins. Remove from the pan and set aside.


    Toss the baby spinach leaves, apple, chickpeas, pecan nuts, cheese and plums in large bowl.


    Shake the dressing ingredients in a sealed jar until well combined and drizzle over the salad before serving.

    NOW TRY: Spinach, pea and ricotta fritters with herbed yoghurt

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com