Friday, April 23, 2010

Spinach Agrodolce

I have that cookbook that I bet a lot of you have, The Silver Spoon. It stares at me, immense and daunting from my shelf and although I have looked through it many, many times, I typically get overwhelmed and put it away. Last winter, I cracked it open again, this time looking specifically for some Italian hors d'oeuvres and came across a unique sounding Crostini in Agrodolce, or sweet and sour sauce. I found myself chopping together prosciutto, capers, raisins, orange juice, and spooning it onto golden toasted crostini. It was so delicious. I loved it.

I was reminded of it recently when I came across a recipe in Cook's Illustrated for Sweet-and-Sour Broccoli Rabe which had similar flavors. I had heaps of spinach in the fridge and so whipped this together, adding pine nuts and substituting shallots for the onion and garlic.

I love the contrasting flavors of this side dish and found it so much more interesting that your typical steamed or sauteed spinach. This recipe is quick too, coming together in about 15 minutes. If you've got spinach growing in your garden right now, or arriving in your farm share, this is a great method for using it up.

For 2-3 side dish servings:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 8 ounces baby spinach

In a largish pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the shallots, stirring to coat. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, being careful not to let them brown. Turn the heat down to medium if they are. Add the pine nuts and stir together for another minute. Add the raisins, vinegar, orange juice, and brown sugar stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is somewhat syrupy, about 3-4 minutes more. Add the spinach in batches, stirring to coat with the sauce. This should be done quickly so the spinach is just wilted and still bright green. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

Adapted from the recipe Sweet and Sour Broccoli Rabe from Cook's Illustrated.


Lori said...

Looks so delicious.

kickpleat said...

This looks so delicious! I have a bag of baby spinach that needs to be used in an interesting way and I think this will be the winner. Hooray!

Kris said...

This was excellent! I have a recipe for carrot and onion agrodolce but I think this one is better. Thanks for sharing!