Apr 17, 2009

Roman style spinach with raisins recipe

My mother's pièce de resistance side dish. When there's unplanned dinner guests, she whips up easy spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino, uncorks a good bottle of wine and distracts them with these sweet and piquant Roman-style spinach, while she frantically fixes the entree.

This was also her only way to make me eat greens when I was a child. Sweet raisins and savory, garlic-flavored sautéed spinach are an unusual match. Some like to add pine nuts too. Try it and see.

500 g (1.1 lb) small spinach leaves
1 glass of water
50 g (1/4 cup) butter
2 tbsp raisins
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 spicy peperoncino or 1/2 tsp flakes (optional)
A pinch of lightly toasted pine nuts
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

Soak raisins in lukewarm water. Perform usual anti-pesticide ritual for the fresh spinach with water and baking soda, rinse and towel dry. Steam or boil briefly in unsalted water. If pressed for time and guest are already ringing doorbell, tear open the plastic bag of store-bought frozen spinach and toss directly in the skillet.

Melt butter and a swirl of olive oil in a skillet and sauté the garlic (and optional peperoncino flakes) in it. Add spinach and strained raisins, blending flavors for a few minutes. Salt to taste and ingurgitate.


  1. I will try sounds different!

    Thank you !


  2. Wonderful vegetarian recipe! Thank you, darling girl.xx♥

  3. What a great idea... love spinach ...
    Happy days Lola

  4. Mona - it's a very peculiar match, but quite rich.

    Natalie - You're very welcome dear!

    Delwyn - Happy sunny days to you too.

  5. Yum indeed. This is one of my favorites. I did not know to soak the raisins. Good tip. And I always feel so good about myself after I eat spinach.

    As Popeye said, "I'yam what I'yam."

  6. Ciao Lola! Yum... this looks good! It is very similar to how I learned to like cooked spinach. My favorite Spanish restaurant in Washington, D.C. made something similar, but added pine nuts and apples or pears. It makes it a bit more sweet, but the combination of sweet and savory is really nice. I will have to try it like this, because now cooked spinach is one of my favorite things!

  7. Pazzerella - I love Popeye, he's so romantic. Try these spinach in a cheese sandwich too... awesome.

    Laura - This dish *is* of Catalan origin. I've mentioned the pine nut option too, but I'd never heard about the apples and pears (Cockney for 'stairs'). Ciao

  8. This is my favorite way to eat spinach. And how I got my husband to finally eat spinach.

  9. I can't wait to try this... I've only ever added nutmeg. This sounds so good!

  10. Ma che piccolo blog il tuo??? E' una sapiente enciclopedia bilingue invece... di un'altra delle mie passioni, e non trascurabile anzi tra le prime! :) Le foto dei piatti poi sono bellissime. Grazie a te del commento... a presto.

  11. I bet this is good. I"m definitely going to try it soon!


  12. We do spinach straight up, butter, salt and pepper. Now I'm wondering how sweet sweet might be? ummm.

  13. Theresa - it's a treat!

    LaDue - report back when you do, I want to know what you think.

    Music Stalker - e allora passa quando vuoi, sei sempre il benvenuto. Qui troverai sempre un piatto caldo, un bicchiere di vino e ottima compagnia qui.

    Breeze - tell me when you do.

    Erin - it's a guaranteed addiction...

  14. yum...I will try this tomorrow with the pasta you linked to! I'm excited and boy I feel lucky to have found this blog!