Italian Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts
The combination of sautéed spinach, fruity olive oil, sweet raisins, and toasted pine nuts is a Mediterranean classic. The big key to this simple side dish is avoiding soggy spinach.
Why This Recipe Works
Most of the spinach with raisins and pine nuts recipes we encountered left us with soggy spinach, shriveled raisins, and bland pine nuts. For our recipe, we opted to use curly-leaf spinach, which has a lower water content than other spinach varieties. Sautéing it in small batches until evenly wilted, and then draining it in a colander and pressing it a few times to coax out the moisture ensured the spinach in our recipe was tender, not soggy. Plumping them in a bowl of hot water softened the raisins in our recipe, and gave them just the right texture. Milder shallots won out over the usual garlic component, and the pine nuts in our Italian Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts recipe were at their crunchy best when toasted to golden brown at the outset and then sprinkled over the dish just before serving.