Spinach Recipes from Around the World

Spinach Salad With Apple Vinaigrette
Japanese Sesame Spinach
Greek Spinach with Lemon-Oil Dressing
Southern-Style Wilted Spinach with Bacon
Indian Spicy Fried Spinach
Southern-Style Creamed Spinach
Cottage Cheese and Spinach Gratin
Spinach Pilaf
Sag Goshth (Indian Spinach Curry)

Here are the makings for a three- or four-course meal, with all of the dishes featuring spinach. The recipes are arranged in order from a light salad, through four increasingly heavy side dishes, to a pilaf and a main-course curry. All of the recipes call for fresh spinach, and in most cases, only fresh spinach will do. But you can use packages of frozen spinach instead in the creamed spinach, spinach gratin and spinach curry recipes


Spinach Salad with Apple Vinaigrette [top]

1 bag fresh spinach, about 10 to 12 ounces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons grated sweet or purple onion
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup finely chopped apple
crumbled cooked bacon, for garnish, optional

1. Wash spinach and let dry. Whisk together sugar, vinegar, onion, mustard, salt, oil, and apple, or pulse a few times in blender.

2. Refrigerate spinach and dressing separately until serving time. Pour dressing over spinach just before serving and toss.

3. If desired, sprinkle with crumbled bacon.

Japanese Sesame Spinach [top]

1 pound spinach
1-1/2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sake
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1. Rinse spinach and trim off tough ends of stems. Plunge spinach in boiling water for 30 seconds. Rinse under cold water and drain well.

2. Spread out wilted spinach on a cutting board, blot up excess water with a paper towel, and cut spinach into inch-wide ribbons.

3. Toast sesame seeds by heating for a few minute in a dry skillet. Reserve a couple of pinches of sesame seeds for garnish and grind the rest in a mortar. Add sugar and blend with ground sesame. Mix sesame-sugar paste in a bowl with soy sauce, sake and sesame oil. Mix well.

4. Layer clumps of spinach in bowl, basting each layer with some of the sesame dressing. Sprinkle rest of toasted sesame seeds on top.

Greek-Style Spinach with Lemon-Oil Dressing [top]

2 pounds spinach (chard, mustard or other greens)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
5 or 6 mint leaves or several sprigs of dill, minced
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Trim, wash and drain the spinach. Place wet spinach in pan, cover, and cook over medium heat until the leaves have wilted, removing the lid and stirring occasionally to allow excess water to steam away.

2. When spinach has wilted, stir in mint or dill, salt and pepper. Cover tightly, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 to 15 minutes longer until spinach is tender, checking occasionally and adding a bit more water if the spinach becomes too dry.

3. Prepare sauce by whisking oil and lemon juice together. When the spinach has finished cooking, transfer to a warm bowl and stir in sauce.

Source: Adapted from The Food of Greece

Southern-Style Wilted Spinach with Bacon [top]

2 quarts young spinach leaves, stems removed, washed
2 slices bacon, diced
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

1. Put spinach in a large serving bowl, tearing large leaves. In a saucepan, fry bacon until crisp, remove with slotted spoon; sprinkle over the spinach. To bacon drippings add flour; stirring until blended.

2. Add sugar, vinegar, and salt. Cook, stirring, until thickened. Pour over spinach and add onion. Toss gently.

Indian Spicy Fried Spinach [top]

1 or 2 bunches spinach (about 1 lb. after removing stems)
2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons oil
2 large onions, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon black cumin seeds, optional
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon chili powder, optional
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1. Wash spinach well in several changes of water and remove tough stalks.

2. Heat margarine and oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion until golden, then add garlic and ginger and fry, stirring, for a further minute or two. Add seeds, ground spices and salt and mix well, then turn in the spinach with only the water that remains on the leaves after washing.

3. Stir all together, then turn heat very low and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until spinach is cooked. It may be necessary to add a little more water to prevent spinach from sticking to pan. Serve with rice, chapatis or other Indian breads.

Southern-Style Creamed Spinach [top]

2 cups chopped, cooked spinach
2 teaspoons finely minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
dash nutmeg
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 hard-cooked egg, sliced

1. Heat spinach in saucepan; add onion, salt, nutmeg, cream, and butter. Mix well and heat through.

2. Spoon onto serving dish and top with hard-cooked egg slices.

Cottage Cheese and Spinach Gratin [top]

vegetable oil for the baking dish
1 pound spinach (about 2 bunches)
5 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dill seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 cups small-curd cottage cheese (nonfat or low-fat is fine)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Warm marinara sauce or grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously oil an 8-by-10-inch gratin dish or a 9-inch square baking pan.

3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the spinach with the water clinging to its leaves, tossing frequently, until the spinach is barely wilted. (Not all the spinach will fit into the skillet at first. Add some first, then as it cooks down, add the rest.) Press out the liquid from the wilted spinach and reserve it in a measuring cup. Finely chop the spinach.

4. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, parsley, dill, coriander, cottage cheese, salt and a little pepper. Stir in the chopped spinach and 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid and mix well. Pour into the prepared dish and bake until set, about 45 minutes. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. To serve, cut into diamonds or squares. Top with warm marinara sauce and/or grated cheese.

Sag Goshth (Spinach Curry) [top]

1 lb. fresh spinach
6 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1/2 cup oil
8 cloves
2 pounds lean lamb or chicken
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick coarsely crushed
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed
salt to taste

1. Wash and drain spinach, place in a saucepan, add 6 cups of water, boil for 3 minutes and remove from heat. Cool and reserve the spinach with 1 cup of liquid, and puree it in a blender. Set aside.

2. Puree the onion, ginger, garlic in a blender with water.

3. Heat oil in a pan, add the cloves, onion puree and stir fry briskly for 2 minutes until the puree starts turning brown. Add the meat and continue to fry until the meat starts browning. This should take a couple of minutes.

4. Add the tomatoes, cayenne pepper, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, sour cream, cardamom and salt. Stir fry for 30 seconds. Now, add spinach puree, reduce heat and cook until the meat is tender. Serve hot.

Spinach Pilaf [top]

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 bunches spinach, washed and stems trimmed
2 teaspoons salt
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 cups cooked rice, preferably basmati
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced

1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Saute spinach with salt just until leaves are wilted. Drain off excess liquid; reserve spinach.

2. Wipe out skillet and melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Saute onion until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add cumin, cardamom, coriander and turmeric and stir to combine. Add cooked rice, tomatoes and reserved spinach and cook, stirring gently to combine, just until the rice is warmed through. Serve warm.