Caalan Spinachs is a traditional dish from the Catalan cuisine, in northeastern Spain. This dish combines fresh spinach with raisins and pine nuts, and is cooked with olive oil, which gives it a delicious flavor and a nice texture. Spinach a la catalana is a healthy and tasty option, perfect as a side dish or light main course, and can be enjoyed either hot or cold.
1 kg fresh spinach, washed and drained
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil Treurer
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup pine nuts
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg (optional)
Large pot or casserole
Large frying pan
Skimmer or slotted spoon
Knife and cutting board
In a large pot or saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned. Make sure not to burn the garlic, as it will make the dish bitter.
Add the fresh spinach to the pot in batches, tossing with the garlic and olive oil. Let the spinach cook and reduce before adding the next batch. Continue cooking until all the spinach is in the pot and has reduced to about a quarter of its initial volume. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
While the spinach is cooking, heat the raisins in a bowl of hot water for about 5 minutes to hydrate and soften. Then drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, toast the pine nuts over medium heat, stirring constantly, until golden brown and fragrant. Be careful not to burn them, as they cook quickly.
Once the spinach is cooked, use a slotted spoon or skimmer to transfer it to a colander. Gently press the spinach to remove excess liquid. If you prefer the spinach drier, you can squeeze it with your hands or use a clean kitchen towel.
Return the drained spinach to the pot and add the hydrated raisins and toasted pine nuts. Mix well to combine all ingredients.
Add salt, black pepper and nutmeg to taste (if using), and mix well. Simmer for 3-5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend and the spinach to absorb the olive oil and other ingredients.
To serve, place the spinach a la catalana on a large plate or in individual portions.
Drizzle a little Treurer extra virgin olive oil over the spinach before serving, if desired, to further enhance the flavor.
If you prefer, you can garnish the dish with some fresh spinach leaves, additional pine nuts and raisins.
Serve the spinach a la catalana with rustic bread or as a garnish for main dishes such as meat, fish or rice.
PRO TIP : If there are leftovers, store the spinach a la catalana in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. They can be enjoyed cold or reheated in a pan with a little olive oil.
Spinach a la catalana is a delicious and nutritious dish that highlights the flavor of fresh spinach and olive oil. The combination of raisins and pine nuts provides a contrast of textures and flavors, making this dish an exquisite and versatile option for any occasion. Enjoy it!