Warm Spinach Salad with Pine Nuts & Rioja Raisins

A colourful Spanish style salad which will even tempt those who refuse to eat their greens! The raisins are plump and juicy contrasting with the crunch of toasted pine nuts. I have listed olive oil in the ingredients, but do substitute a lemon infused oil, either purchased or your own produce. The lemon flavour takes the salad to new heights. Even though there is a little last minute preparation just befor serving, all the other ingredients are made ahead of time and are ready to fling towards the freshly wilted spinach.

Category:  Starters & Salads Vegetarian  - 
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Ingredients

For 0 people

Recipe

  • old baguette or country bread
  • Rioja wine (or a full flavoured red)
  • nuts
  • baby spinach leaves
  • oil or lemon infused oil

Warm Spinach Salad with Pine Nuts & Rioja Raisins Directions

  1. 1. Cut the day old bread into small chunks. I think fairly irregular shapes look rustic and pretty, but keep them all around half a cm in size. If they are too big they do not crisp as easily and if they are too small they seem to waste into nothing. Sprinkle liberally with the oil, mix well and make sure all the bread is oil soaked.
    2. In a small saucepan bring the Rioja wine to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the raisins. Leave to soak for 30 minutes, drain and dry the raisins on kitchen roll.
    3. Using a non-stick frying pan, dry fry the pine nuts until they just begin to colour. It happens quickly so do not leave them! Immediately remove from the pan and leave to cool.
    4. Making use of the same frying pan make the croutons. The bread chunks are oil soaked so additional oil is not necessary. Heat the pan, add the bread and keep tossing until all the chunks are a deep honey colour and crispy. Turn out and drain on kitchen roll.
    5. Still keeping the same frying pan, heat a little oil. Throw in the spinach leaves and heat until just wilted. Place on a serving plate. Garnish with the raisins, pine nuts and croutons. Serve immediatley.

  2. Pine nuts: it is worth dry roasting a batch of pine nuts and keeping them in a sealed bag ready to scatter a handful over salads for that extra crunch.
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  4. I have deliberately left the serving quantity free - just make as much or as little as you prefer, depending on whether it is for a starter or tapas dish. Beware though, spinach does seriously reduce when cooked, you need about 250g per portion for a starter.
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