eritrean spinach to die for

a new new year’s tradition?

You know it’s going to be a great year when it kicks off with not one but two fabulous dinner parties featuring home-cooked Eritrean/Ethiopian food. After the first such party I just had to ask the hostess of the first dinner for the spinach recipe (which may have been my favorite dish, probably because spinach is my favorite vegetable, as the one spinach vendor in the Moroccan province of Taroudant will tell you) so that I could make it at the second dinner a week later. At this point I’ve fed this to about a dozen people and I think the consensus is that it’s about the tastiest spinach dish we have ever witnessed.

Dibora’s Eritrean Spinach

Credit obviously goes to the enormously talented (and generous, for sharing her recipes) hostess of that first party, Dibora, who also happens to be an incredible yoga teacher whose classes get me through the week.

You will need:

1 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 bags of frozen spinach (medium to large-ish bags; these are usually pre-chopped)*
2 jalapeños, chopped (wear gloves or don’t touch your eyes don’t touch your eyes don’t touch your eyes)
Olive oil & butter
Salt & pepper

never a bad way to start a dish

Heat up the onions on medium-low heat in the oil and butter, stirring occasionally, till they become translucent and start to brown.

Next, add the garlic and stir in. Make sure the heat is low enough that the garlic doesn’t burn.

Next add in the jalapeños. Dibora suggests cooking them for just a minute before adding the spinach and I concur…

and now for the good stuff

Next go ahead and add in all that spinach, plus some more olive oil and salt and pepper to taste (I found it takes a good amount of salt to make sure all that green goodness is sufficiently seasoned, but add it bit by bit as you stir). Cook, stirring pretty frequently, till everything is cooked, mixed, seasoned and delicious – this will probably take a good 15-20 minutes, depending on your stove and your pan.

at last

You can serve with rice or couscous or (if you are lucky enough to have it around) injera, the traditional flatbread of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Last night I served it with couscous cooked with a bit of butter, oil and salt, and it was lovely.

*n.b. this much spinach will serve upwards of 5 people; for four people or fewer, one bag of spinach will probably do, but then again, if you throw in both bags you can always enjoy the leftovers…

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7 thoughts on “eritrean spinach to die for

  1. Thanks Anny! I just made this for myself, so I only used 1 small bag of frozen spinach, 1/2 a yellow onion and only used 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil… I also cut out the butter (I’m trying to cut down on dairy). Anyway it turned out GREAT. I’m sure the butter would make it better, because you know, it’s butter. But it was still great, and quite healthy! I ate it over some rice. I saved 1/2 for leftovers tomorrow. YUMMY! Thanks again.

  2. Amazing. I make a similar dish where I begin by saluting chicken wings until brown and tender. Then proceed with the balance of your recipe. I have always served this over rice. A Complete one pot meal. Hope you’ll give it a try.

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