Are you completely frustrated by grown spinach? I am since spinach doesn’t like the heat and our springs are just too short. Since I discovered a spinach alternative, heat loving Egyptian spinach (also known as Jews’ Mallow,) I no longer grow spinach. And I have never looked back.
Anna, tell me more.
I thought you would never ask.
First things first. Egyptian spinach doesn’t resemble or even taste like spinach. Its latin name is Corchorus olitorius, C. capsularis. It is a member of the mallow family. However, it is a tasty green that can be substituted for spinach.
In Egypt, this green wonder is referred to as Molokia or Molokhiya. Legend has it that Cleopatra drank Jews’ Mallow soup every day to enrich her beauty. The leaves are rich in minerals and very nutritious.
How Does it Grow?
I grew mine from seed indoors 6 weeks before frost date, and planted it after frost passed. It loves the sun and heat. In fact, it doesn’t seem to start growing until the summer turns on the heat.
It can easily grow to 4 feet or higher with lanced like leaves in a shrub like form. Don’t plant your plants too close together since the plant grows outward and needs about 2 to 3 feet of space.
Wait until the plant is at least two feet high and cut the top six inches of the plant. The leaves will grow back quickly.
The more you cut, the more the plant prospers. By the end of the summer, it produces small yellow flowers.
In my area, it is an annual but would be a perennial in a warm weather area.
You can buy seeds HERE.
How Do you Cook with Egyptian Spinach?
In Egypt, the Egyptian spinach is eaten fresh. The leaf spine is removed from the leaf, and chopped up. Coriander and garlic are added and the mixture is made into a soup to be served over rice with or without beef or lamb. (See here is a recipe for soup.)
In other parts of the Middle East, the leaves are dried and rendered into powder. It is used for soups.
You may be able to find fresh or frozen Egyptian spinach in a middle eastern store.
Is this a leafy green you are willing to try?
Join the Conversation:
Have you ever grown Egyptian Spinach?