United States Edition

Malabar Spinach

Monday, 12 Mar 12 Cloudy 22°C / 72°F

  • 6
  • Unhappy

I have managed to grow an extensive planting of Malabar spinach. This hardy plant is not fazed by heat, dryness, blight, or pests. It reseeds itself. Its fleshy leaves are tart and juicy, and taste a bit like common spinach. It would seem to be an ideal salad ingredient, and I’ve been trying my best to acquire a taste for it.

I have failed.

It’s the texture that puts me and MM off. The fleshy leaves contain a viscous sap, not unlike cactus juice. The thick, slick texture just doesn’t do much for me. I shudder to think of what might happen if I cook it- the slight crunch would be eliminated, leaving only the thick texture. So the Malabar spinach is off the table, and soon out of my yard. Except the sprouts from the copious quantities of seed it produces, which I will no doubt be finding for quite some time.

I guess this comes under the heading of kissing frogs to find a prince, or whatever applies to those of the princely persuasion looking for princesses. Or at least a nice salad.

pictures 1-5: various views of the Malabar project.


This entry is about

Stadium planter garden

looking for another top row tenant

Day 361

Malabar spinach

Basella alba

Harvesting 1.0 x basket [16.0 oz] yuck/yum ratio > 1


  • Tralamander

    Tralamander wrote:

    What a fascinating plant! Thanks so much for sharing your project – some great photos. It’s a shame you don’t like the texture, but it’s very pretty. Does it grow outside in your zones?

    Posted on 12 Mar 12 (about 3 years ago)

  • halhurst

    halhurst wrote:

    Tralamander: Yes, but I don’t know whether it would survive a freeze. No matter, it produces lots of purple berries containing seed (unfortunately they taste like dirt), and would probably grow back in the spring. I am getting numerous sprouts in nearby planters. The stems are fibrous, but the leaves seem to be fiber free.

    Posted on 12 Mar 12 (about 3 years ago)

  • flowerweaver

    flowerweaver wrote:

    The folks on my homestead list swear by it, saying they like it much better than real spinach when cooked—to my knowledge none of them was eating it raw. You might try a small bit of it in a dish and see. It could be your green eggs and ham!

    Posted on 12 Mar 12 (about 3 years ago)

  • halhurst

    halhurst wrote:

    OK Sam-I-Am (fw). One more try, steamed with butter. Or should it be boiled? Or Sauteed? But not with socks. And not with a fox.

    Posted on 13 Mar 12 (about 3 years ago)

  • flowerweaver

    flowerweaver wrote:

    What’s the verdict cooked??

    Posted on 15 Mar 12 (about 3 years ago)

  • halhurst

    halhurst wrote:

    I’m waiting for the right time. I’m steeling up my courage and also dealing with technical issues in my fisherator; not cooking too much this week, but rather grazing. But soon, I promise.

    Posted on 15 Mar 12 (about 3 years ago)

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