Sunday, January 1, 2012

My favorite salad right now

This dish is so quick and easy, I've made it two nights in a row this week and have no plans of stopping.  I think anyone knows how unbelievably healthy spinach is for you. Basically this vegetable can do no wrong. It's tasty raw, great cooked, and is one of the most common vegetables available at the market. Do note that it's one of the Dirty Dozen so buy organic spinach if possible. There are several different types, most common is baby spinach, especially for salads. Curly leaf spinach is popular to cook with, but not great in salads. As far as vitamins go, spinach has it all: Vitamin K, C, A, B12 and B6. Its got calcium, potassium, magenese, and folate. You can click on the link above to get more info, but spinach is always a good choice nutritionally speaking.

This dish was one I discovered on my birthday at an AWESOME tapas restaurant in town, called Curate. It has a lot of traditional spanish dishes, and we did our best to try them all. I will likely be blogging several spanish recipes soon because I can't stop thinking about that delicious meal.
What appealed to me about this salad was how quick you can prepare it, and how the sweetness of the fruit helps balance the overpowering flavor of cooked spinach. As I've stated I have a hard time eating cooked leafy greens, such as kale, spinach and collards, but this dish slid down my gullet like butter. This is a great way to use a ton of spinach, especially if it's close to going bad. So make this as soon as you can, it may become your new favorite salad too!

Spinach, Catalan-Style
Not the best picture, but trust me this Salad is AMAZING. 
In the picture above I slightly overcooked the spinach, so be VERY careful when cooking your spinach. It really only takes 1-2 minutes to wilt, and do not stop stirring once the spinach it added. Be sure ALL your ingredients are prepped and ready because once you start the dish it only takes about 5 minutes to cook. The key to getting this salad right is timing, so move quickly. Seconds make a different in this salad. 
The Goods: Serves 3-4 as a side dish
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 golden delicious apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
10 ounces baby spinach

The Deal: 
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add garlic and saute. Once oil is very hot, add apples and cook until lightly browned, 1-2 minutes. Add pine nuts and cook until browned, 20-30 seconds. Stir constantly during this process to prevent burning. Add the raisins and salt and combine ingredients throughly. Immediately add the spinach, mix and saute quickly until it starts to wilt, 1-2 minutes tops. The spinach will continue to wilt off heat, so take it off heat JUST as it begins to wilt. Taste and add salt if needed. Serve immediately.

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