Spring and spinach go together like a well-tailored suit and signify the start of fresh produce in Minnesota. Make the most of this healthy early seasonal vegetable before it is too late and the local greens are withered away. Try spinach with raisins and pine nuts. This is one of those few dishes that comes together with little effort, yet tastes like a five-star side dish worthy of your best China.
My Favorite Spinach Recipe
A combination of zesty garlic, sweet raisins and crunchy toasted pine nuts brings out the best in fresh spinach. The recipe requires little effort to prepare with only a few ingredients yet always has stellar results that don’t taste like quick out of the box food. If you do not have pine nuts, slivered almonds will do as a more practical and economical alternative.
Dedicate a few minutes of focused time to toast pine nuts (or almonds) just until that faint nutty smell starts to flow from the heat of the frying pan. Otherwise, in the blink of an eye you will be faced with a very costly pan of squirrel and bird food.
The moment the pine nuts start to brown, add the garlic and stir a few seconds to coat. Drown out the browning with a nice splash of good table quality white wine. Never use cheap cooking wine. Why cook with anything less than what you would drink?
While fresh from the farm local spinach has a more tender leaf, store-bought shipped greens will work for this recipe. Use the best quality ingredients available for the season.
Spinach likes cool weather and thrives during chilly Minnesota summers. If the weather takes a turn and gets hot even for a few days, spinach crops wither away faster than yesterday’s news.
Spinach For Family
Golden raisins have a warm complimentary color like the fiery glow of the sun against the spinach. However, the more traditional dark brown raisin is fine just not as pretty or sweet.
Spinach with raisins and pine nuts has enough earthy sugary flavor to disguise the ordinary spinach sulfury tart, power food, mineral-packed taste. This dish will delight the whole family.
Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts
3 cups fresh spinach
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts (or slivered almonds)
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons white wine
½ teaspoon salt
Dash fresh pepper, freshly ground
Trim spinach of long stems. Thoroughly wash and rinse off spinach. It may take a few washes and rinses to free the spinach of dirt. Place olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts (or slivered almonds) and cook until just starting to brown. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Next add the cleaned spinach, raisins, white wine, salt and pepper. Stir gently, and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender.