AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Bumper Crops (Recipe: Goma Spinach) DATE: 7/10/2009 08:54:00 AM ----- BODY:
Last week, I visited Waltham Fields Community Farm for a reading by Lisa M. Hamilton, author of Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness. They asked me to prepare a few salads with their produce to serve the attendees.

With all this rain and cool weather, they had a glut of spinach. So much that they could not keep up with the harvest and the leaves were rather large by the time they did. They gave me 11 pounds for the event.

Such spinach is ideal for cooking, less so for a salad, because cooking reduces its mass considerably. My crate cooked down to about ¾ gallon in volume. I snagged a little off the top to eat with my own dinner the night before the event, and reheated it in garlic and olive oil. If I had more, I would have frozen it. The remainder I served with a Japanese style sesame dressing.

Chilled Spinach Salad with Sesame Dressing

(Goma Spinach)

1 pound fresh spinach, washed
8 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
2 tbs. sake
2 tsp sugar
2 tbs. soy sauce
1 tbs. rice vinegar
¼ cup water or dashi

Heat a large skillet over high flame. Add spinach (no oil, just the residual water from washing). Cook the spinach just until it wilts, turning occasionally.

Chill spinach in refrigerator.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the remaining ingredients together. Blend until smooth.

Squeeze out excess water from spinach. Drizzle dressing on top just before serving.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Steve DATE:7/10/2009 04:11:00 PM Julia - I like your clever use of the 12# of spinach here....I would have been stymied when trying to come up with a "salad" for huge and tough spinach leaves, your molded salads look yummy. I'll have to try the recipe soon. - Steve ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:7/10/2009 08:21:00 PM I love the combination of spinach and sesame! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Lori Lynn DATE:7/11/2009 08:57:00 PM The dressing sounds delicious.
Looks like a great event.
LL ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types DATE:7/12/2009 06:20:00 AM Can't imagine how I would tackle 11 pounds of spinach - the final result looks great! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous noble pig DATE:7/12/2009 10:45:00 AM Wow, that's a lot of spinach! You made something lovely though...good work! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:7/12/2009 08:35:00 PM Steve -- Could it be a way to entice the kids to eat their spinach?

Lydia - I've only seen the spinach/sesame combo in Japanese cuisine. Have you seen it other ways?

LL -- It was really a fun day!

T.W -- It took me three hours just to triple wash it. Yikes.

noble pig - thanks! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Callie Durbrow DATE:7/16/2009 09:08:00 AM Sounds like a great salad and I agree, spinach and sesame is an excellent combo. ----- --------