Spinach Cuajado / Cuajado de Espinaca

We’re deep into summer now, and one of the nicest things to eat on a lazy summer day is cuajado and a fresh salad. There’s no need for a big spread every time you make a cuajado, as it’s quite filling on its own.

When my grandma and great aunt Reina were alive, we ate a lot of spinach cuajado (as opposed to my favorite, zucchini). When I was very young, the aroma of spinach & all those cheeses cheese baking in the oven was too intense for my sensitive little nose (which is no longer quite so sensitive nor, alas, quite so little).  But once out of the oven, the flavors mellowed and I couldn’t get enough.  Because spinach itself has a more intense flavor than zucchini,  this cuajado needs a stronger cheese, too: pecorino romano instead of parmiggiano, which works perfectly with zucchini but would be too delicate here.

So here’s my recipe for the spinach, also adapted from my Aunt Reina’s.  The sesame seeds aren’t traditional, though I wonder why. They are well within the bounds of tradition and a nice finishing touch with the spinach.

recipe

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11 Comments

Filed under Recipes

11 responses to “Spinach Cuajado / Cuajado de Espinaca

  1. Me gusta mucho esta receta. La probaré en cuanto pueda.
    Un abrazo.

  2. Estelle

    Janet, what a wonderful recipe. I can’t wait to make it. Your recipes are worth waiting for.

    In NYC this weekend I met a young couple from Barcelona. I couldn’t remember the name of your restaurant and I would like to tell them where you are. I’f you have a moment, please send me the name and address so I can send them to you.

    Hugs

  3. Estelle

    Janet, I was wondering if I can make this using frozen spinach leaves.

    Thanks,
    Estelle

  4. Janet Amateau

    Frozen spinach works just fine and is a good alternative if you’re not much for rinsing spinach leaves. Make sure it’s thoroughly thawed before you begin and, if you choose to speed up thawing by applying heat, use a very low flame in order to avoid cooking the spinach. With frozen spinach you’ll also have considerably more water than with fresh leaves, so be sure to drain and squeeze it very well. — JA

  5. Hey Janet, love your site. My family makes something similar for Passover (different cheeses) but we call it mina de espinaka.

    Cheers,
    Liz

  6. Jackie Sauter

    This is so very similar to Peeta de Espinaca, made by my Nauna and my mother (and now me) especially at Passover, but whenever the spirit moves. I’m going to try your version. Muchisimas gracias.

    • Janet Amateau

      Jackie – Spinach cuajado is de rigeur at our Passover Seder, too! Yes, whenever the spirit moves – it’s really a sabbath dish, but delicious (and easy) any time. Enjoy!

  7. I will try that soon! thank you for another variation.

  8. Denise

    Can I make this In advance for Passover and freeze it?

    • Janet

      Hi, Denise. I have never frozen a cuajado, though I’ve certainly refrigerated many! The texture isn’t quite the same – it compacts a bit – but the flavor is still delicous. If I were to freeze one, I’d reheat it in a warm oven and allow it to rest before serving.

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