And isn't it festive and pretty?! And the unexpected combination of ingredients with a Middle-Eastern feel – spinach plus fresh mint, toasted walnuts, pomegranate seeds and yogurt – somehow really work. This salad has a lot of parts but luckily they're not "moving parts" and if you're inspired to serve this for a holiday meal – it has the right colors, yes? – all but the last step could be done in advance.
The recipe comes from Street Food by Tom Kime, what's turning out to be a real treasure. I love the irony that a street-side specialty called "salatet bil s'banegh joz" somewhere in the Middle East or north Africa (the book doesn't say where) is also perfect for a dinner party salad.
Delicious, this is!
RED & GREEN WARM SPINACH SALAD
Time to table: 40 minutes
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 small onion, cut into slivers
8 ounces (225g) fresh spinach leaves, washed well, stems removed, cut into ribbons
Salt & pepper to taste
GARLIC YOGURT SAUCE
1 small clove garlic
Coarse salt (kosher, sea salt, etc)
1/4 cup Greek yogurt (or keffir, even buttermilk)
1/4 cup toasted walnut pieces
20 fresh mint leaves, chopped coarsely
Seeds from half a pomegranate (The Quick & Easy Way to Remove Seeds from a Pomegranate)
MISE EN PLACE Before starting to cook, you'll want to make sure the onion and spinach are prepped; the walnuts toasted; the pomegranate seeds separated; the mint cleaned and prepped; the Garlic Yogurt Sauce mixed. That's actually 90% of the "prep time" so take heart, you're nearly done! And all these things except the mint can be done ahead of time, even a day ahead if need be so it's a great last-minute salad to fix right before serving.
SAUTÉ THE SPINACH Heat the oil until shimmery in a large skillet. Add the onion and let cook until aromatic and beginning to turn gold, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the spinach and cook, turning occasionally, until just tender and still bright green, seasoning with salt & pepper as the spinach cooks. Use tongs to lift the spinach from the skillet, letting the excess liquid stay in the pan. Carefully arrange the spinach on serving plates or on a serving dish.
GARLIC YOGURT SAUCE On a flat surface, mash the garlic into the salt with the a fork or the flat side of a knife. Stir into the yogurt.
TOPPINGS Drizzle spinach with Garlic Yogurt Sauce, then scatter with walnuts and mint. Top with pomegranate seeds.
SERVE warm, doesn't hold well, isn't as good cold.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
For everyday, you might want to omit the walnuts, pomegranate seeds and mint, leaving just the quick-cooked spinach topped with the garlicky yogurt sauce. So good!
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MORE FAVORITE SPINACH RECIPES~ Vegetables 101: What Are Bitter Greens? ~
~ Easy Spinach Nests ~
~ How to Make a Spinach Omelet ~
~ Healthy Creamed Spinach ~
~ more spinach recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Shrimp with Tomatoes, Spinach & Feta ~
~ Spinach Salad with Fruity Vinaigrette, Fresh Fruit & Maple-Glazed Pecans ~
~ Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing ~
~ more spinach recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column