June plot to plate: spinach pilaff

Plot 51 SpinachSpinach is my first harvest of the year! Spinach has quite a history, thought to have originated in ancient Persia, Arab traders carried spinach into India. The plant was introduced into ancient China, where it was known as “Persian vegetable”  in 647 AD. In AD 827, the Saracens introduced spinach to Sicily.

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is an edible flowering plant in the family of Amaranthaceae.  A leafy green vegetable that is generally cooked, but can also be eaten raw when young enough to be tender. It has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled.

Plot 51 June plot to plate spinach pilaff

Spinach pilaff

Serves 4

2 tbsp oil

1 bay leaf

2 black cardamon pods

6 black peppercorns

1 tsp cumin seeds

1-2 green chillies, forked but left whole

1 small onion, peeled and chopped

300g cooked Basmati rice

200g spinach leaves, wilted in a pan and pureed

salt

3 tsp lemon juice

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the whole spices and green chillies and cook for 20 seconds. Add the onion and cook for about 4 minutes until translucent. Stir in the rice, spinach and salt and stir-fry to heat through. Just before serving, add lemon juice to taste.

A recipe from northern India by Anjum Anand, Indian food [BBC].

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