Judeo Catalan Spinach with Pine Nuts & Raisins
1 lb fresh spinach
2 Tbs. pine nuts
2 Tbs. muscatel raisins or sultanas, soaked in warm water to plump them (avoid dark California raisins)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon or 1/2 tsp. powdered ginger or 1/8 tsp nutmeg – use, one, two or all three as you wish
2-3 Tbs. white wine vinegar (you can also try a mellower balsamic reduction)
several grindings of black pepper
salt to taste
3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1. If using bulk spinach, cut off the thick stems and rinse the leaves well in three changes of cold water. If using bag spinach, give it a rinse to moisten it. If using frozen spinach… oh, don’t use frozen spinach. Set the rinsed spinach aside in a colander without drying it.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large saute’ pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts, plumped raisins, drained, and vinegar and cook about two minutes. Toasting the pine nuts isn’t necessary; they’ll still add plenty of flavor and texture to the dish. Add the spinach, salt, pepper and spice(s), turning the spinach over several times with tongs to coat well. Cook the spinach for ten minutees or so, long enough to wilt and absorb all the flavorings. Taste and correct seasonings.
3. Serve warm or at room temperature. The finished dish should be a little oily rather than watery, but not dripping.