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Spinach with Pine Nuts & Raisins

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Serves six.

Use baby spinach when it's available; it's sweeter, less gritty, easier to clean, and there's no need to trim the stems.

  • 2-1/2 lb. fresh spinach, stems trimmed, leaves rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse salt or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil; more to taste
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbs. golden raisins
  • 3 Tbs. pine nuts
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put the spinach leaves in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid (if all the spinach doesn't fit, add the rest once it starts cooking and collapsing). Add the salt and water and cook, covered, on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted, 2 or 3 minutes. Drain in a colander, let cool, and squeeze out the liquid with your hands. You'll end up with about 2 cups cooked spinach.

Spinach with Pine Nuts & Raisins Recipe
Pine nuts and chopped onions go from brown to burnt in a flash, so stir often and be ready to pull the pan off the burner to slow them down. Photo: Sarah Jay.

Heat 3 Tbs. of the olive oil in a large sauté pan set over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until it begins to turn golden, about 5 min. Stir in the raisins and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts and sauté until they're lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until any excess liquid has evaporated. Season generously with salt and pepper and drizzle each serving (or the whole serving platter) with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 160; Fat (g): 12; Fat Calories (kcal): 110; Saturated Fat (g): 2; Protein (g): 7; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): 12; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 410; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 6;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is an excellent way to prepare spinach-- the sweetness of the raisins and onions, plus the richness of the olive oil and pine nuts makes for a great dish.

This recipe has become a standard in our house. It is FAR better than steaming the spinach: Its not even really in the same ball park. The result is a savory, salty and sweet spinach dish that is really satisfying. Please kep in mind that like all spinach dishes, the anount that you will have at the end of cooking itis a lot smaller than what the raw spinach starts out being.

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