Saturday, October 4, 2014

Espinaca con Mani Ensalada (#Spinachandpeanutsalad)



"I know what I bring to the table...so trust me when I say, I'm not afraid to eat alone."

Well, it's spinach again! This one is a dish I added to our meals #homerecipes about two decades ago. I heard about it from my friend Meena, whose Japanese relative used to make it. Since I hadn't eaten it, I had no idea how it tasted so I'm still not certain whether the way I make it is the same and if it tastes the same! What I do know is that what I make is delicious and crunchy. I have, as always, added my own little touch. And what's best is: it's so easy to make and takes little effort and time. Team it up with some broiled chicken and wow! you've got an absolutely fantastic, healthy meal.

This can be eaten as a salad or it can be included as a side dish. It works well both ways. I decided to translate the name into Spanish because it sounds nice...no other reason. I have no idea of its origin: Japanese or Chinese or then a fusion food. However, "I do know what I bring to the table"....and I love eating with good company, even though I've had to eat alone most of my life!

Ingredients

Spinach..................................................1 bunch, par boiled and chopped to make 1 heaped cup
Onion.....................................................1, medium, sliced
Garlic....................................................3-4 cloves, chopped really small
Peanuts.................................................3 tbsps You can add 1/2 tbsp more if you fancy more crunch
Light soy sauce.....................................1 tsp
Chilli flakes (optional).........................acc to taste
Cumin seeds(optional).........................1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
EVOO..................................................1 tbsp (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)


Pick the leaves of the spinach, leaving mature stalks out. Wash well under running water.
Put some water to boil in a pan. When it starts to bubble drop in the spinach leaves. Let it boil for a minute and a half if they are big mature leaves. If the spinach is tender 30 seconds will do.
Drain out water and keep aside. Chop coarsely.

In a fry pan, dry roast the peanuts on medium heat, moving them around constantly. You find the nuts release a bit of oil. When they start to burn slightly on the outside take them off the fire. Do not roast too much they will become bitter. You must get it right. Put them on a kitchen towel (cloth) and let them cool. (While they are cooling, you can get on with sauteing the spinach) Later, when the peanuts have cooled, rub them briskly with the cloth towel. The skins will come off easily if they are roasted properly. Pick out the skinned peanuts and crush them coarsely in a mortar.


In a non-stick pan, heat the EVOO and  if you have opted to use cumin seeds drop them in then add the finely chopped garlic and sliced onions. Saute, stirring now and then, on medium heat. When the onions become translucent and some will show signs of browning at the edges, lower heat, add the light soy, and add the chopped spinach immediately.
Stir into the onion-garlic. Sprinkle some salt. Keep in mind that soy has salt and so does spinach have a mild salt content. Raise heat to medium again.
Add the chilli flakes, if you are using it. Mix it all well, and allow to cook for a few seconds.
Now add the crushed peanuts and give it another brisk stir.


Cook until water content, if any in the spinach, dries up.
Serve as a salad with a chicken dish or a paneer(quesillo)-carrot-green pepper stir fry.
So easy...almost no effort...healthy and delicious food at your finger tips.

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