Bolted lettuce is famously unusable because your sweet salad leaves turn bitter.

But does the same apply to spinach? It's a lettuce type crop (and equally prone to bolting in hot weather) but it's basically a bitter leaf anyway and typically cooked to a mush (a nice mush, if spinach is your thing, but still a mush) anyway, so does it really matter if additional bitterness has entered the plant?

  • 1
    Oh... please don't cook your poor spinach to a mush! It's got such a wonderful texture. Roll a stack of (non-bolted?) spinach, chard, and/or kale leaves into a tube and slice 1cm thick. Sprinkle in your salad bowl with a drizzle of ranch dressing. Still think it's too bitter? Same prep, maybe cut a little wider. Heat some olive oil in a wok. Stir fry some crushed garlic and a bit of red pepper flakes; add the leaves just until they start to wilt (not mush!). Serve hot with some pineapple chunks and just a bit of soy sauce.
    – bstpierre
    Jul 2, 2012 at 3:29
  • Or, if you're going to make mush, it deserves to be with ricotta in, say, a nice veg lasagna... ;)
    – bstpierre
    Jul 2, 2012 at 3:30

1 Answer 1


Yeah, but mainly because of the pollen which get everywhere and coats the plants. I don't think the leaves tasted particularly bad. Not picking it in a timely manner is why I didn't plant spinach this year. Last year I used my bolted spinach to make soup

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    what about the pollen? Is your answer specific to those with pollen allergies? Jun 30, 2012 at 22:22
  • Nope, it's specific to people who don't enjoy eating pollen Jul 1, 2012 at 3:53

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