Lemony Spinach Saute

AriCooks, Vegan, vegetarian

Two months into our move, Jeff, Auralee and I are still very much riding the roller coaster of transition. Small things make the enormity of this change easier; the taste of freshly baked burekas, the smell of orange blossoms, the way strangers never hesitate to chat at the bus stop, in the market, at the bank, or on the street. The smokey fragrance of Druze bread wafting through the shuk, the way the cheese sellers act as though my visit has made their day. Most of all though, it is all those things combined with the staggering beauty of a country so small that bumping into a gorgeous view is a matter of a short walk, a train ride, or simply turning one’s head.

February sunset from the Tel Aviv port

The view from the top of Haifa's Bahai Gardens

Haifa, along the northern edge of Mount Carmel

Lemony Spinach Saute with Cilantro and Pomegranate, adapted from Claudia Roden’s, Cooking of the Mediterranean

At the last blogger get-together, Miriam — who is wise to the medicinal and healthful qualities of various greens — reminded us that we are likely not getting as many as we should. With a market full of inexpensive, fresh, local varieties of every leafy green under the sun, there is really no excuse for neglecting spinach, sorrel, arugula, watercress, as well as many regional varieties. This saute is brightened by a generous amount of lemon juice and a sprinkling of tart pomegranate seeds.

750 grams of spinach ~ 1 1/2 pounds (not baby spinach), washed very well, tough stems removed

1 onion, finely chopped

olive oil

clove of garlic, minced

1 bunch of cilantro, washed well, chopped

salt and pepper

juice of one small lemon

seeds of 1/2 pomegranate

Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a wide, deep pan, over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for a few minutes until soft and beginning to get some color. Add the minced garlic and saute one minute more, being careful not to burn. Add the cilantro, spinach, lemon juice, salt and pepper (to taste) and saute, turning spinach, until cooked through. Spoon the cooked spinach into a serving dish and top with pomegranate seeds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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