If you’re lucky, you’ve tasted the delicately delicious starter at your favorite sushi place that inspires this recipe. Cooked, chilled, then tossed with a perfectly balanced Asian vinaigrette, this spinach is at once, sweet, savory and salty. With a spicy sesame kick, it’s lo-cal bliss in a bowl, savored slowly with a lovely pair of chopsticks.
Serve this as a starter with steamed sea bass, brown rice and hot sake. Make extra marinade for dipping. Open Sesame!
Chilled Sesame Spinach
2 pounds fresh spinach, trimmed and washed
Coarse salt, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
11/2 tablespoons soy sauce
11/2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon agave nectar
Sriracha, to taste
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
Boil spinach in a large pot of salted water for 30 seconds; drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain again, squeezing out excess moisture. Transfer to a cutting board and roughly chop.
In a small bowl, whisk together sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, agave and Sriracha.
Toss spinach in marinade. Add sesame seeds. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
Diva Confession: There are lots of soy sauces to choose from these days, so opt for a brand that is naturally brewed. Pre-toasted sesame seeds are a life saver for our time-crunched readers, just be sure to store them in the fridge, especially if you are buying a large quantity.