Brazilian Spinach (Alternanthera sissoo), also known as Sissoo Spinach, is a delightful leafy green that’s easy to grow and packed with nutrients. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or a newbie, this versatile plant is a fantastic addition to your garden. In this OrganicMotion article, we’ll provide you with essential information on cultivating Brazilian Spinach and a delicious recipe to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
About Brazilian Spinach
Botanical Overview: Brazilian Spinach is a low-growing, perennial leafy vegetable with small, lance-shaped leaves. It belongs to the Amaranthaceae family and is known for its edible, dark green foliage.
Climate Requirements: Brazilian Spinach is well-suited to subtropical and tropical climates, making it an excellent choice for Eastern Australia.
Planting Schedule in Eastern Australia
- Spring (September – November): Spring is an ideal time to start planting Brazilian Spinach. This allows the plants to establish themselves before the hotter months.
- Site Selection: Choose a sunny to partially shaded spot in your garden with well-drained soil. Ensure it receives sunlight for at least 4-6 hours a day.
- Propagation: You can grow Brazilian Spinach from seeds, cuttings, or root division. Seeds can be sown directly into the soil, while cuttings and root division can be planted in well-prepared beds.
- Spacing: Space Brazilian Spinach plants about 30-45 cm apart to allow them room to spread.
- Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water deeply to encourage root growth.
- Fertilization: Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to nourish your Brazilian Spinach plants.
Caring for Your Brazilian Spinach
- Pruning: Regularly harvest leaves to encourage bushy growth. Use scissors or your fingers to snip off the top 2-4 inches of each stem.
- Pest and Disease Control: Brazilian Spinach is generally pest-resistant. However, monitor for aphids, slugs, or snails, and take appropriate measures if needed.
Harvesting and Enjoying Brazilian Spinach
- You can start harvesting Brazilian Spinach leaves once the plants reach a height of 10-15 cm.
- Pick the outer leaves, which will encourage new growth from the center.
- Brazilian Spinach can be consumed raw in salads or sandwiches, or cooked in various dishes.
Recipe: Brazilian Spinach and Feta Stuffed Mushrooms
- 8 large mushrooms, stems removed and cleaned
- 1 cup Brazilian Spinach, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
- In a mixing bowl, combine the chopped Brazilian Spinach, crumbled feta, breadcrumbs, minced garlic, and olive oil.
- Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
- Fill each mushroom cap with the Brazilian Spinach and feta mixture.
- Place the stuffed mushrooms on a baking sheet or in a baking dish.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and the stuffing is golden brown.
- Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
- Serve your Brazilian Spinach and Feta Stuffed Mushrooms as an appetizer or side dish.
Nutritious leafy green
Brazilian Spinach is a versatile and nutritious leafy green that can thrive in Eastern Australia’s climate. By following the planting schedule and tips provided, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of this delicious green and create delightful recipes like Brazilian Spinach and Feta Stuffed Mushrooms to savour its unique flavor.