Catalan is the home of the classic side dish, espinacas a la Catalana, and displays the Catalan flair and independence in its non-traditional combination of green vegetables with the sweetness of raisins and the crunch of toasted pine nuts. It’s probably this fierce independence that gave the world two of the most unique characters in the world of arts and science- Salvador Dali and Antoni Gaudi. Both created a revolution in their respective fields of painting and architecture that could only be realized by the Catalan genius for non-conformism and innovation.
Espinacas a la Catalana -(Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts)
- Skillet or wok
- 3 tbsp Raisin
- 1½ lb Spinach or swiss chard, thick stems removed, rinsed, and roughly chopped. (Sub: frozen spinach)
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 2 clove Garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp Onion, minced
- 3 tbsp Lightly toasted pine nuts
- Soak raisins in warm water. Put spinach in a plastic freezer bag. Add ¼ cup water, a dash of salt, and 1/3 of the oil. Partially seal and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Drain.
- Heat remaining oil in skillet. Sauté garlic and onion until soft. Add greens, drained raisins, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Serve in a bowl or refrigerate several hours to gain flavor. Reheat for 1 minute in microwave.
- Spinach will shrink down substantially. Fresh or frozen can be used with similar results.
- The recipe doubles exactly.