Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 20 mins

This dish is all technique. The garlic cloves are browned, the pine nuts toasted and the raisins are plumped in water and heated, each flavor enhancing the spinach. I cut this recipe out of a June 2007 New York Times magazine. The original recipe was published in 1989 and came from "The Food of Southern Italy" by Carlo Middione. Put here for safekeeping, and will try this soon. I will definitely lower the amount of oil way below 1/3 cup, which is what the published recipe stated. If you are not concerned about your waistline, go ahead and use that much. I think this is a very sophisticated recipe, appropriate for a dinner party.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 3 tablespoons raisins (black or golden, smallest available)
  • 4 bunches spinach, bunches washed at least twice but not dried, trimmed of stems (2 1/2 pounds untrimmed)
  • 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, peeled and well crushed
  • 4 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 pinch salt (big pinch)
  • fresh black pepper (6-7 grindings)


  1. Put the raisins in a small bowl with enough warm water to cover. Soak for about 15 minutes and set aside.
  2. Put the wet spinach in a frying pan large enough to hold it all and cook over a high flame until it collapses and turns dark green, stirring constantly. Transfer the spinach to a colander and set aside. If the frying pan is wet, dry it with a paper towel.
  3. Pour olive oil into the frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and brown it, being careful it doesn't burn. Remove and discard. Take the raisins from the water, squeeze as dry as possible and add them to the oil with the pine nuts. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until the nuts turn a golden color. Be careful because the nuts can burn easily.
  4. Return spinach to the pan, stir with a fork and add salt and pepper, to taste. Mix all ingredients and continue cooking for about a minute. You may add additional olive oil if desired.


Most Helpful

I made this and burned ALL the raisins. Just as I was about to throw them all away, I decided I was too hungry to make another batch, and ate them like that. Absolutely delicious! If a recipe can still work even after you burned one of the main ingredients, I think it's a fabulous recipe! Great find, one of those rare vegan gems. Thank you for posting!

Aram M. March 16, 2016

I had loved and lost this recipe --found it again in the Times and misplaced it. SO happy to have it here. Quite simple and quite perfect--one of those glorious recipes which makes the most of the main ingredients with the least fanfare. Thanks, Cat Friend!

Chef Kate December 17, 2007

A full house for you Kumquat - or I picked your recipes wisely!! Because this was wonderful - just the kind of flavours that we both love so much! And yes, it is all about technique in this recipe - the plump raisins and the toasted pine nuts......and a whiff of garlic, sublime! Made for PAC Autumn 2007 and totally delicious! Merci encore, FT:-)

French Tart October 05, 2007

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