Spinach Stems With Walnut Sauce
I like to serve this salad with an assortment of roasted peppers, olives, cheeses and cured meats as an appetizer. The walnut sauce is also delicious on chicken, spread on toast and with other vegetables.
- Stems from 3 lbs. spinach, some tops are ok too
- 1 small onion
- 2 Tbls. olive oil
- 1 cup ground toasted walnuts
- 1 slice rustic bread, crusts removed, soaked in water, and squeezed dry
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 2 Tbls. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 to 4 Tbls. water, or as needed
- salt and freshly ground pepper
Put the spinach stems, onions, and olive oil in a saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until stems are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Lift out and discard the onion. Pour the contents of the pan into a sieve or colander and let drain for 15 minutes.
To make the walnut sauce, combine the ground nuts, soaked bread, vinegar, olive oil, and 3 Tbls. water in a small bowl. Stir to mix well and season with salt and pepper. Salt is the key ingredient for the balance here. The sauce should be thick but spreadable. If it is too thick, add the remaining 1 Tbls. water and taste again for seasoning.
Place the well-drained spinach stems in a serving bowl, pour the sauce over the stems and stir. Allow to marinate for a few hours or as long as overnight. Serve at room temperature.
Adapted from Sephardic Flavors: Jewish Cooking of the Mediterranean, Joyce Goldstein