Why does spinach shrink so much when it is cooked? This is because the leaves contain a lot of water which escape when cooked.
A more scientific answer involves turgor pressure which exists in plant cells. Turgor pressure is the pressure of water filling up the cell membrane and pushing it against cell walls. This pressure is known as turgidity and it keeps the leaves of spinach nice and rigid.
When you cook spinach either the water pressure causes the cell wall to break and the leaves wilt or the heat itself breaks the cell wall and lets the water escape. I’m not too sure which happens first. In the end though you end up with very little spinach – that’s for sure.
Now let’s move on to cooking some spinach with eggs.
- very little olive oil
- lots of spinach
- crushed red peppers
- black pepper
- some bread
Add some olive oil to a pan – turn the heat on. We’re not trying to fry anything here so you don’t really need to wait for the oil to heat up. Now go ahead and add lots of spinach. Think you added enough? No you didn’t. Add some more. Be prepared to be amazed by how much spinach can reduce in size when cooked. After all the leaves have that same dark green wilted look push them aside and make some room for the eggs. Now crack some eggs and cover the pan. As soon as the egg white loses its translucent color over the yolk remove from heat (not demonstrated well in photo above). You’re done cooking. Add some crushed red peppers, black peppers, paprika, and of course some salt. Serve with some fresh French bread.