Spinach by Yotam Ottolenghi

by Meg Cotner on June 4, 2010

ottolenghi spinach

I first came across the name “Ottolenghi” on the 101 Cookbooks site, where Heidi featured a recipe from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook.  The recipe consists primarily of Bhutanese red rice and quinoa, along with aromatics, pistachios, dried apricots, and arugula.  I remember making and really enjoying this dish, especially entranced with the red rice, which was unusual to me but so delicious.  FYI, “Ottolenghi” is the last name of Yotam Ottolenghi, who with Sami Tamimi are behind Ottolenghi, a very popular food shop and catering company in London, UK.

Last month, I discovered another Ottolenghi recipe that looked fantastic.  It’s very simple – spinach, pine nuts, ricotta, and some aromatics and spices.  I was particularly intrigued by the use of sumac, which I’ve only come across in middle eastern restaurants here in town (most notably at Kabab Cafe).

Sumac spice, not to be confused with the more toxic sumac like poison ivy, is a dark red spice derived from a wild bush in the Mediterranean.  The spice has as tart, lemony flavor.  It’s really delicious, and since I have so much of it left over, I look forward to trying other dishes that require it.

So, this lovely spinach dish.  I thought it was very good, really tasty, and easy to make; and I’d make it again in an instant.  I loved the use of fresh, mild cheese alongside the tart sumac, plus the cheese and nuts boost the protein content. I was happy to be able to take advantage of buying fresh, locally made ricotta at my neighborhood salumeria.  This cheese is so fresh and clean tasting, it’s a joy to use.  This dish is also good the next day.

You can find the recipe for Spinach with Sumac, Pine Nuts, and Fresh Cheese over on Design Sponge.

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