Brazilian Spinach thrives in the Brisbane summer

I put my allotment to bed for our long hot summer under a blanket of horse manure and a thick layer of mulch.

However, a small cutting of Brazilian Spinach (Poor Man’s Spinach) really took off.

This plant was a bit of a cutting gifted by another gardener. I had to give it a chance, so I stuck it into the ground at the beginning of summer – and it has spread and flourished despite the heat, weeks of drought, tropical downpours, and neglect. (It could have tapped into some of that horse manure of course!)

Brazilian Spinach is suitable for tropical and sub-tropical climates only, but it is great to have a member of the spinach family that will keep me in greens during the summer when other varieties have turned up their toes. This is how my plant looked this morning and I have been cutting at it for weeks now. The recent heavy rains gave it a burst of life.

IMG_5328 IMG_5331 IMG_5334

I noticed that the plant is already putting down fresh roots so if you are a Brisbane gardener and want a root of it – you are welcome. It would need to be collected from the farm. You can also propagate it by putting a cutting in a jar of water and it will sprout roots.

I add this spinach to soups, stir fries and frittata but I also wanted to try it in a pesto and this is a great recipe I found on the Yandina Community Gardens website.

Brazilian Spinach with Macadamia Nut Pesto

Ingredients:

Bunch of brazilian spinach leaves

1 cup basil leaves

3-4 large cloves garlic

½ cup olive oil

¼ teaspoon sea salt

2 cups macadamia nuts (I have also used walnut or cashews)

juice of half a lemon

Method:

Combine all ingredients in food processor until smooth.  If mixture is a bit thick, you can add a small amount of water, bit at a time, until it looks right.

Happy Gardening.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. narf77
    Apr 07, 2015 @ 06:00:14

    What a stoic and wonderfully resilient plant Jean. Pity it’s only for tropical climates but I guess I get broad beans to balance that inequality out 😉

    Reply

  2. Kathy
    Apr 07, 2015 @ 07:09:43

    That looks so healthy and pretty hardy too. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

    Reply

  3. horticulturalhobbit
    Apr 07, 2015 @ 07:18:31

    reckon you can make some lovely onion bhajis with that, Jean, or even try making some indian saag paneer

    Reply

  4. tootlepedal
    Apr 07, 2015 @ 08:21:48

    I like my spinach with baked eggs and a cheese sauce.

    Reply

  5. Jem @ Lost in Utensils
    May 23, 2015 @ 14:24:58

    Thanks for this recipe Jean. I have been learning so much about Brazilian Spinach in my permaculture course at the moment (doing my PDC at Northey Street). It’s so hardy and I love the taste of it.

    Reply

  6. Allotment adventures with Jean
    May 23, 2015 @ 15:58:00

    Jem, thank you for visiting. Always lovely to hear from another local gardener. I have heard from other gardening friends that the permaculture course at Northey Street is excellent.
    I am looking forward to following your blog.

    Reply

  7. notjustgreenfingers
    May 26, 2015 @ 18:40:39

    What a great plant to have over winter….shame it won’t grow here. I use a perpetual spinach here in the uk and that over winters nicely

    Reply

  8. e / dig in hobart
    Jul 14, 2015 @ 15:16:10

    I have never heard of brazillian spinach, only English, how green and lush it is!

    Reply

  9. Allotment adventures with Jean
    Jul 16, 2015 @ 09:11:27

    It certainly is lush and so easy to propagate, just stick a piece of it in the ground and it is the only spinach I know that can deal with our summer heat in Brisbane – and keep going. Thank you for your comment.

    Reply

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