Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A New Twist on Spinach

Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays have passed--and I have returned home from a lovely vacation in sunny LA--I have made it back to the kitchen and already tried out a couple of new recipes.

This first recipe intrigued me with its unique combination of ingredients: Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins. I love foods that combine several unique tastes and textures, so I felt inspired to try this one out. I was also excited by the fact that the recipe was described as Spanish-inspired, as that is one type of ethnic food that I have not yet had the opportunity to try, so I was interested to see how well I liked this particular combination of flavors.

The recipe is from the August 2006 issue of Cooking Light. It was simple to make--the biggest challenge was trying to stir the huge pot of fresh spinach without having several of the leaves jump overboard (I should have used a bigger pot!). If you have the same problem, don't be alarmed--after a few minutes the spinach at the bottom of the pot DOES begin to wilt and it becomes easier to stir as the pile begins to shrink. My favorite part of the recipe was the golden raisins--their sweetness was the perfect compliment to the strong flavor of the garlicky spinach.

For another unique twist in the future I might try the recipe using toasted almond slices in place of the pine nuts. This recipe paired nicely with grilled T-Bone steaks and corn.

This Spanish-inspired side dish is a sweet-savory combination of garlicky wilted spinach, buttery pine nuts, and golden raisins. One serving is a tasty way to pack in 114 milligrams of magnesium--about 25 percent of your daily needs.

1/2 cup boiling water
1/3 cup golden raisins
2 (9-ounce) bags baby spinach
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons pine nuts, toasted

1. Combine 1/2 cup boiling water and raisins; let stand 15 minutes or until raisins are plump. Drain.
2. Combine spinach and 2 tablespoons water in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook 3 minutes or until spinach wilts, stirring frequently. Remove from pan. Wipe pan with a paper towel.
3. Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Add spinach, raisins, salt, and pepper; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Stir in pine nuts.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 121(23% from fat); FAT 3.1g (sat 0.3g,mono 1.4g,poly 1.1g); PROTEIN 3.9g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 100mg; SODIUM 352mg; FIBER 6.7g; IRON 4.5mg; CARBOHYDRATE 24.1g
Maureen Callahan, Cooking Light, AUGUST 2006

1 comment:

Cindy said...

What a fun recipe. Don won't eat cooked greens but I think it sounds good! Always glad to hear about your adventures in the kitchen!