Tree spinach (Chenopodium giganteum), also known as Purple Goosefoot or Magenta Spreen, is a large leafy annual, which can grow up to 2 metres tall, living up to its ‘tree’ nickname.
Originating from India, and commonplace in Mexico, tree spinach happily grows in the UK, and is a relative of amaranth and quinoa.
The younger leaves and growing tips, which are splashed with vivid pink, can be eaten raw in salads and larger leaves can be cooked as spinach. Cooked it tastes similar to spinach, with a nuttier taste, and some people say with a hint of asparagus. Cook as you would spinach: either steam for a few minutes, or sautee with a splash of oil (and salt and pepper) or with melted butter.
It can also be substituted for greens in many recipes. These patties sound good.
The plant has edible seeds which can apparently be cooked or ground into flour, perhaps an experiment for us in the future!
Written by Kelly, one of the new growers at the Croft.