Spinach Sauté (Sotelenmiş Ispanak)

The main two ingredients for this simple and nutritious dish is from our local farmer’s market. This dish can be eaten with pasta, rice or even potatoes. You may also use it for a filling in böreks (Pastries filled with spinach, cheese or meat). It’s light and can be served for lunch or dinner or as a side dish.

Thousands of years ago, spinach was used for medicinal purposes. Spinach is known for improving blood quality, restoring energy and increasing vitality. This dark green leaf vegetable is an excellent source of iron and lutein; a type of carotine which is beneficial for good eye sight and preventing eye related diseases. Of course with its dark leaves, it is a wonderful protector against various cancers. Many other health benefits exist for spinach but I will not dwell into that here as it would take a very long post just to describe the benefits of the spinach.

2 bunches of spinach
7 large green onions (chopped)
½ tsp red pepper flakes
3 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt

Wash the spinach thoroughly. In a large pot, boil water and add the spinach in the boiled water for 2 minutes. Do not keep them in the boiled water longer as their texture will become mushy. Immediately run the spinach under cold water in order to stop the cooking process. Create small balls from the spinach and give them a nice squeeze to remove the excess water in the spinach. Chop each spinach ball coarsely and with your hands, separate the spinach leaves from each other as sticking together will hinder the salt and spices to get inside the spinach.

Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add onions and sauté for 2-4 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add the spinach to the onions. Add the rest of the ingredients and sauté for 5-6 minutes. Make sure the salt and pepper are distributed evenly in the spinach.

Enjoy with rice or bulgur pilafs or any kind of pasta. Also, this can be used as filling for any type of börek.

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