Tuesday, December 29, 2009
My Oriental Spinach
To accompany my mother's Christmas goose I made what has become a much requested recipe of sauteed spinach (and Swiss chard when available) with spices, ricotta (brousse) cheese, nuts and raisins. Often I will wrap it in puff pastry, or bake it in a pie tin and sprinkle breadcrumbs with parmesan on top. Or, when these are not available, I'll serve it simply. I've not as yet had any complaints.
a couple bags of fresh spinach, washed, de-stemmed, chopped coarsely
1/3 cup chopped and toasted nuts (pine nuts, pecans, walnuts...)
2 good-sized garlic cloves peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg
1 cup ricotta/brousse cheese
1/3 cup yellow raisins or currants
salt and pepper to taste
In a large frying pan, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Toss in spinach to fill the pan, put on the lid. Wait a moment or two, then lift the lid to check the quickly wilting spinach. Toss with a wooden spoon or tongs till all is wilted and reduced. Remove and place in a colander to drain. Continue till all the spinach is cooked. Toss in the nuts and stir quickly till lightly toasted. Put aside.
Sizzle the minced garlic in two tablespoons of olive oil. Toss back in the spinach. Transfer all the ingredients to a large bowl and blend coarsely together.
At this point you can either serve, or put aside in an oven-proof dish to reheat before serving. Or, you can lay it in pastry and bake, or sprinkle with breadcrumbs and parmesan and bake.