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Spinach with Pine Nuts and Raisins

from tree to tableThis is yet another one of my favorite recipes from the book “Olive Oil – From Tree to Table” by Peggy Knickerbocker*. This is a classic dish that is eaten with only minor variations in Greece, Sicily, and other parts of Italy, Spain, and France. It is a flavorful accompaniment to almost any dish.  Serves 2 – 4.




1/4 cup golden raisins

Boiling water to cover

2 – 3 tbsp. pine nuts

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 lb. spinach, carefully rinsed, drained, and chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Fresh lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil if serving at room temperature


Place the raisins in a small bowl and add the boiling water to cover.  Allow to stand for 10 minutes until raisins are plump, then drain.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes to bring out their flavor and give them a bit of crunch.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil.  Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the spinach a little at a time, adding more as each batch begins to wilt.  Cook, stirring constantly, until all the spinach has wilted, 3 – 5 minutes.  Pour the raisins over the spinach, season with salt and pepper, and mix well.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the spinach to a serving dish, discarding the liquid in the pan, and sprinkle the pine nuts over the top.  Serve immediately.  Or serve at room temperature with a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.


Text Copyright © 1997 by Peggy Knickerbocker, Photographs Copyright © 1997 by Laurie Smith, Cover Photograph Copyright © 2001 by Leigh Beisch. Permission of Use by Chronicle Books LLC (Publisher).


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