Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Spinach Sesame Salad


Sssssssssssso good this sibilant salad. Loving last week's baked tofu we fancied it again this week (some times it's hard to be original) and I was sure this kind of japanesey spinach dish would work a treat with it. I've eaten it a few times at various restaurants and was always taken with it so I googled for it and came up with a few differing versions that all had in common cooking the spinach in boiling water for a minute, then soaking the leaves in cold water till they were cool enough to handle. I NEVER cook spinach like that to the point that I was convinced the leaves would simply disintegrate after 20 seconds. Or at the very least turn to a slimy mush. Amazing how wrong you can be.

Normally I simply warm oil in the bottom of a big pan, wash the leaves thoroughly then wilt them in the hot pan with a lid, resulting in lovely velvety little mountain of leaves, needing nothing more than a grind of pepper or perhaps nutmeg. Cooking them in a big pan of water actually made them a little more substantial in texture with none of the silkiness that comes from steaming them. Which was a perfect vehicle, once squeezed and chopped, for the sesame sauce, a fairly substantial thing in its own right. The Japanese certainly know a thing or two about cooking.


Spinach Sesame Salad

500g fresh spinach, washed and destalked
4 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce

Bring plenty of water in a large pot to the boil over a high heat. Add the spinach to the boiling water for about one minute. Drain into a colander and soak the spinach in the colander in cold water until cool. Drain and squeeze the spinach to remove the excess liquid. Cut spinach into thick ribbons and set aside.

Heat a small frypan over a gentle heat and add the sesame seeds. Stir them often to stop them burning and cook till just golden. Tip the toasted seeds into a blender or food processor, allow them to cool and then grind until smooth. Add sugar and mix well. Add soy sauce and sake and mix until combined. Dress the boiled spinach with the paste and serve.

We had it with some tofu I had pressed for longer and then marinated all day which cooked into a slightly crisper topping with creamy insides and basmati rice for a very satisfying and elegant supper for a Monday night.

7 comments:

Kristine said...

Wow, nice recipe, it looks delicious,

-kristine alonzo

bron said...

Very nice indeed!

liketocook said...

Hi Bron
I've been looking for your spiced orange oil recipe - but can't remember what it was posted with!
Can you help?
Thanks
LTC

bron said...

Hi LTC - it's under condiments but here's the immediate link - http://practicallydaily.blogspot.com/2007/03/spiced-orange-oil.html

Funnily enough I made some this week - I was running low and it's is a real winter cheerer with a crispy salad.

Bron

liketocook said...

Hi Bron
Thanks for this - I had looked a condiments before and didn't see it (I don't think I scrolled far enough!!)
This will make a wonderful addition to my Christmas hampers (and some for me of course!)
Thanks again
LTC

bron said...

Good choice LTC - it's a really nice thing to give. One of the bottles I made last week is destined to be a welcome present for my friend Vicki who's just come back to London after a few years away.

liketocook said...

Hi Bron
A lovely gift for your friend.
LTC