Braised Spinach With Persian Spices
Note: This simple recipe is delicious with kale or chard or a mix of all three greens. You can vary the flavors by substituting cardamom, cumin and ginger for the za’atar. Find za’atar with spices at many supermarkets (it’s become mainstream) or at specialty shops. To substitute for za’atar, mix together 1 teaspoon dry thyme, 1 teaspoon dried sumac, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds. To toast walnuts, spread the nuts out onto a baking sheet and toast in a preheated 350-degree oven until they begin to brown and smell toasty, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove, cool, chop. Serve the spinach garnished with a dollop of whole-milk Greek yogurt on a harvest buffet. From Beth Dooley.
• 2 lb. fresh spinach
• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
•1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
• 8 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 tbsp. za’atar, or more to taste (see Note)
• 1/4 c. chopped fresh mint
• 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
• Generous pinch of red pepper flakes to taste
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 1/4 c. toasted, chopped walnuts (see Note)
Rinse the spinach in a bowl of cold water and thoroughly drain. Trim off any roots from the stem ends. Coarsely chop the leaves.
Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent and soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and spinach, cover, lower the heat and cook until the spinach is very tender, about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the za’atar, mint and lemon juice, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, to taste. Serve garnished with the walnuts.
Nutrition information per serving:
Fat 13 g
Sodium 290 mg
Carbohydrates 15 g
Saturated fat 2 g
Total sugars 3 g
Protein 9 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Dietary fiber 7 g
Exchanges per serving: 3 vegetable, 2 ½ fat.