Spinach is nutritious and delicious as a side dish, appetizer or addition to a recipe. But its high water content risks making your meal too watery. Cooked spinach usually must be drained before adding it to things such as quiches or dips. Squeezing water from previously frozen, chopped spinach can be especially hard because the small pieces are easily snared in a paper towel. This is where a cheesecloth comes in handy. You can also use cheesecloth for fresh, cooked spinach, although you can use other methods as well.
Cook or thaw the spinach according to the recipe's directions. Allow cooked spinach to cool for at least several minutes before handling it.
Lay out a square of cheesecloth in a square. Fold the cloth in half at least once to create layers.
Pile the spinach at the center of the cheesecloth and gather the material around it to create a pouch. Hold the pouch over a sink and gently squeeze to release the spinach's water content.
Use paper towels as an alternative. Gather small bunches of cooked spinach in a paper towel and squeeze gently to absorb the water. Replace the paper towel as necessary.
Employ a colander as another alternative. Place the cooked spinach in a colander over the sink and press down with a paper towel. This both pushes water out from the bottom and absorbs water on top. Or, press the spinach with the back of a spoon to push the water out through the colander.
- Use gentle squeezes to remove the water. Squeezing too hard can pulverize the spinach and make it one gooey mass.
- Lay out the leaves on papers towels to dry for an additional 10 minutes if you're worried that the spinach will make your recipe too watery.
Tallulah Philange has worked as a journalist since 2003. Her work has appeared in the "Princeton (N.J.) Packet," "Destinations" magazine and in higher education publications. She also has edited and produced online content for those publications. Philange holds a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from American University and a Master of Arts in communication, culture and technology from Georgetown University.