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RECIPE: Carolize Coetzee’s Bright Lights Spinach Stems

RECIPE: Carolize Coetzee’s Bright Lights Spinach Stems

This meat-free Monday, why not try this delightfully light starter by Tokara head chef Carolize Coetzee?

Spinach is packed with vitamins A, C and K, as well as magnesium, iron and manganese. While the effects demonstrated by Pop-eye may have overrated this leafy green, studies have shown it benefits eye health, reduces oxidative stress and lowers blood pressure levels.

If you like this you may also like: An interview with Tokara’s inventive Carolize Coetzee

FUN FACT: According to the researchers at TV show QI,Popeye the Sailor became so popular during the Great Depression that consumption of spinach increased by 33%. His popularity also led to American children listing spinach as their third favourite food, after turkey and ice cream.”

Spinach stems

Carolize Coetzee, Tokara, Spinach

Bright Lights Spinach Stems with Spinach Hollandaise

Great for a variety of vitamins Spinach can not be overrated. Here Tokara's head chef Carolize Coetzee teaches us how to make it as a delightful starter. Recipes RECIPE: Carolize Coetzee’s Bright Lights Spinach Stems European Print This
Serves: 4
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 2 voted )


  • 2 bunches Bright Lights spinach, or Swiss chard
  • juice of 3 lemons, plus 10ml for the sauce
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 10ml water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 50g Renosterbos goat’s milk cheese
  • (alternatively use Parmesan), grated


Cut the stems from the spinach. Remove the veins from the leaves and juice the leaves to get about 200ml liquid.

Cut the stems into about 7cm pieces. (You will need about seven pieces per plate.) Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to boil. Add the lemon juice and stems and cook for 5 minutes.

Remove the stems and sauté briefly in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Season with salt and more lemon juice if needed.

For the hollandaise, bring a medium pot quarter filled with water to a simmer. Whisk the spinach juice, 10ml lemon juice, egg yolks, 10ml water and salt in a stainless steel bowl until light and fluffy. Turn down the heat of the pot and place the bowl on top. Continuously whisk the mixture until it thickens, covering the back of a spoon.

Remove the bowl from the heat and while whisking, slowly add the melted butter until incorporated. Cover with a cloth and leave to cool.

To serve, align seven spinach stems to form a block on each plate, sprinkle with the cheese and pour the hollandaise sauce over.

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