[Sca-cooks] Advice on a leafy green vegetable

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Fri Aug 14 10:58:25 PDT 2009

Basella alba is primarily a tropical or sub-tropical plant, so I doubt it 
would be occurring in Medieval or Renaissance Europe.  If you want to be 
truly historically accurate, you're probably stuck with Swiss chard, 
otherwise, enjoy.


> At my farmer's market (which has a large proportion of Hmong farmers) I 
> can get "Chinese spinach". I looked it up and apparently this is also 
> known as Malabar spinach, Basella alba.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basella_alba
> I can find Asian recipes for it without a problem. My question is, what 
> can I do with it in medieval cooking? I cannot eat true spinach unless it 
> is cooked to goo (like in palak paneer, for instance) so that whatever I 
> am allergic to is destroyed. The problem this creates is that I can't have 
> any of the lovely tarts or salads that contain spinach because they aren't 
> cooked enough. So, can I use this as a spinach substitute or am I better 
> off using Swiss chard instead?
> Many thanks,
> Margaret FitzWilliam

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