Spinach pkhali (dip)
Total time: 30 minutes plus 6 to 8 hours for chilling
Servings: 4 to 6
Note: Adapted from a recipe in “Please to the Table” by Anya von Bremzen. The walnut sauce can also be used to flavor eggplant or beet puree.
2 pounds fresh spinach, tough stems removed
3/4 cup walnuts, ground
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds or 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1 1/2 tablespoons tarragon
Pomegranate seeds or walnut pieces for garnish
1. Rinse the spinach leaves well in several changes of cold water. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, and cook the spinach until tender, under 1 minute. Drain well, and cool until manageable.
2. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the spinach. Chop it as finely as possible (don’t use a food processor or blender, which may puree it; it should have texture). Set aside.
3. Combine the ground walnuts in a bowl with the garlic, onion, cilantro, coriander seeds, cayenne, fenugreek and vinegar. Add 3 tablespoons of water and mix well.
4. Add the spinach to the walnut mixture, and stir until thoroughly blended and smooth. Season with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours to allow the garlic to mellow. To serve, spread the dip on a plate and smooth the top with a spatula. With a knife, make a pattern of diamonds in the top, and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds or walnut pieces. This can be served with lavash or other flat bread.
Each serving: 132 calories; 6 grams protein; 8 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 10 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 87 mg. sodium.