“Remove the stalk, discard the stem” is often the beginning of prepping vegetables in a recipe, and more importantly the wasting of half your lovely vegetables. But that doesn’t have to be the case. In this recipe I give you a delicious and simple way to use up spinach stems. And for all those sourdough fanatics, ways to use up your sourdough starter discard too!

Sautéed Garlic & lemon greens with sourdough “pancake”

Feel free to top up the stems with spinach leaves if you want more greens, but just wait to add them until the stems are in the frying pan. You can top the pancakes with whatever you fancy; spices, nuts, seeds, spring onion, red onion – the choice is yours!

Serves two, DF, Vegan

  • Spinach Stems from a large bunch, washed and cut into approx. 10cm lengths 200-300 grams
  • Hummus, homemade if possible
  • One large clove of Garlic, peeled and crushed
  • Sesame seeds- optional
  • Sumac or Paprika-optional
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Place spinach stems in a large bowl or jug and cover with boiling water. Meanwhile, crush garlic and thinly slice the onion. Drain spinach well.

Heat two frying pans over medium heat with a few tablespoons of olive oil in each.

To the first frying pan, pour in two ladles of sourdough starter to make two pancakes. Sprinkle the thinly sliced onion and seeds (or topping of choice) on top of the pancakes. (Make sure to sprinkle on the pancakes and not in the pan as they can burn). Once the pancake is golden on the bottom and has bubbles on the top (approx. 4 minutes), had more oil to the pan and flip over. Cook until golden on both sides. Cook your spinach at the same time or alternatively keep “pancakes” warm by wrapping in a tea towel.

In the other pan, cook garlic with the lemon zest until garlic is just starting to colour. Add spinach, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat for approx. five minutes until softened. Squeeze over lemon juice and toss to coat.

Spoon hummus on to two plates and top with the sautéed spinach. Drizzle over olive oil. Top with the sourdough pancake and sprinkle with sumac.

There you go; a scrumptious breakfast or afternoon snack perfect for using up all those spinach stems!

Helpful hints: Don’t have a garlic crusher? One of my favourite ways to crush garlic is using a large chef’s knife. It’s easy to clean (unlike those pesky garlic crushers), creates minimal wastage and doesn’t require a new utensil, so less washing up. Win-Win. First, peel and finely chop the garlic. Sprinkle with salt. Then using the flat of your knife (with the blade pointing away and the knife close to parallel to the bench), press into the board and scrape back towards you. Continue to do this, rearranging the garlic and chopping again if needed, until crushed.