Monday, January 18, 2021

Spinach Catalan #Recipe by Maya Corrigan


After tasting spinach prepared Catalan style in a local tapas restaurant, I tried re-creating it at home as a side dish. Moorish influence on the cuisine of Catalonia, a region in Northeastern Spain that includes Barcelona, results in a combination of sweet and savory elements in dishes. Most of the Catalan spinach recipes I found online include toasted pine nuts and golden raisins. Chef José Andrés has a version made with diced apple. Almonds and orange pieces were used in the spinach I ate at the tapas restaurant.


For my variation I used dark raisins, because I always have them in the pantry, and oranges, because they add color and flavor. Either type of nut or raisin works with this dish. This dish is quick to prepare and attractive enough to serve guests.   


1/4 cup raisins
One orange, peeled and with pith removed, and cut into pieces
2 medium garlic cloves—peeled, smashed, and chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds
12 to 16 ounces of baby spinach 
1 Tbsp olive oil
 Salt and pepper to taste

Cover the raisins with warm water and let them stand until plumped, about 10 minutes. Drain them before adding them to the dish. 

Cut a peeled orange into sections.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped garlic and cook it for 30 seconds. Add the spinach. Sauté for 3 minutes until it’s wilted, stirring it now and then. Note: If you have mature spinach instead of tender baby spinach, you should steam it before putting it in the pan. 

Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in raisins, nuts, and orange pieces. Cook 1 to 2 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Serves 2-3 as a side dish.

I lack the patience to peel a whole orange, divide it into sections, and remove the pith from each section. Instead, I slice the orange first, cut the rind off each piece, which I then slice in half.

The photo above shows the same spinach dish made with Cara Cara oranges and almonds.


Tomorrow is the birthday of a towering literary figure, Edgar Allan Poe. His spirit hovers over my 4th Five-Ingredient Mystery, The Tell-Tale Tarte. Its title derives from Poe's story about a murder, “The Tell-Tale Heart.”

The victim and suspects in The Tell-Tale Tarte include an actor famed for his one-man Poe show, an author who riffs on Poe stories, a professor who specializes in Poe, and an aspiring writer and Poe lookalike. When café manager Val Deniston serves a tarte Tatin at a book club dinner, the dessert reveals a fraud, embroiling her and her grandfather in the investigation of a murder. The search for the killer takes Val and Granddad to the home of a bestselling author, Rick Usher. Stranded there by an ice storm, they spend a harrowing night in the “House of Usher.” Then, in the shadow of Poe’s tomb, they try to prevent another murder and mete out some POE-etic justice.

Themes that Poe explored in his writing emerge in The Tell-Tale Tarte: guilt, vengeance, and even burial alive. The book offers a solution to real real-life mystery–the identity of the elusive Poe toaster, who, annually for decades, left roses and cognac at Poe’s grave on his birthday, January 19th.

You can read more about this book and Poe on my website

Read an excerpt and find out where to buy The Tell-Tale Tarte.

You've probably guessed that I'm a Poe fan. Are you? 


Today we remember and celebrate a towering figure in American history, Martin Luther King Jr. His message of nonviolence resonates, especially his year. Wishing you a peaceful MLK day. 


  1. What a lovely fresh and tasty recipe, Maya! I think it will be a hit around here. Glad that Martin Luther King's message lives on and is celebrated. Hugs.

    1. Hugs to you too, Mary Jane. Thanks for commenting.

  2. I love Spanish food, but am not always the biggest fan of fruit in savory dishes. This looks tasty and simple, so I might have to give it a try anyway.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Mia. Though it would be a different dish, spinach sauteed in olive oil and garlic with pine nuts added would make a good dish too.

  3. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me!

  4. Maya, this looks great -- a way to sneak a little sunshine into the kitchen on these winter days!

    1. Thanks, Leslie. That's a good way to look at this dish. Oranges mean sunshine.