Garlicky Water Spinach
A bold, garlic-flavored preparation for water spinach or other Asian greens.
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Water spinach is not a relative of traditional spinach, but rather a swamp-thriving native of tropical India (it can also be cultivated on dry land). Water spinach, also known as morning glory, swamp cabbage, or water convolvulus, is a versatile vegetable used in almost every Asian cuisine. Water spinach is an herbaceous aquatic or semi-aquatic perennial plant of the tropics and subtropics. Almost all parts of the young plant tissue are edible, but the tender shoot tips and younger leaves are preferred. In Asia, water spinach is stir-fried, most often with fermented white bean curd, shrimp paste, or garlic. Use all of the leaves and the top half of the stems. Water spinach is in the same genus as sweet potato, and a member of the morning glory family. Water spinach grows wild in aquatic environments, but can also be grown in well irrigated fields. Water spinach is considered a noxious weed in the U.S. where it has invaded aquatic ecosystems in warmer latitudes. Cold Massachusetts winters prevent water spinach from spreading and therefore the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service allows its cultivation by licensed growers.
Handling: Wash water spinach well, shake dry and break into bite-sized lengths, discarding any tough lower stems.
Storing: Store water spinach in a bag in the refrigerator. It can go bad quickly, so use within 2-3 days.