2012 is here and it’s a big one. I have a milestone birthday at the end of it and have begun a bucket list of new things to try and places to go.
While I didn’t make any real resolutions, I have a couple of goals for improving myself. Not things I can work on at the gym per se, but ways that I want to be happier about myself.
But of course if I could “move” around a few pounds that would make me happy too. One of the ways I hope to do that is with an item on my list: learning to skateboard.
Another is to continue a trend we started last year, which involved eating less meat, more veggies and a lot more beans on our plates. And, nuts became a much more common ingredient in our meals and as a snack.
Lucky for me, our first book of 2012 is “Almonds in the Savory Kitchen,” by Kate Washington. It is a collection of 10 tasty and pretty healthy recipes that all include almonds as a main ingredient.
I photographed it, which required cooking all of the recipes. It was like a mini-cooking class. Kate’s recipes were thorough and easy to follow, but there were several dishes I hadn’t made before.
When I read the headnote for the spinach recipe below, I thought Kate’s note was a lot of hype. And then I tried the spinach. I couldn’t stop eating it and quickly began to call it by a different name, Crack.
If you made a resolution to eat healthier this recipe will help you stay on track. Otherwise it’s just a totally delicious plate of spinach you’ll have trouble putting down after the first bite.
We’ll launch Kate’s book mid-month. If you’d like to win a free copy, sign up for our mailing list here.
Catalan Spinach with Slivered Almonds and Dried Apricots
This flavorful Spanish dish of sautéed spinach is great as part of a tapas spread or as a side dish for fish or paprika-dusted roasted chicken. That said I’ve been known to eat a whole batch of this spinach for dinner when there’s not much else in the house. It’s quick, savory and healthy.
What to drink: Albariño. This racy white wine variety from Spain offers fresh fruity flavors and enough zing to counterbalance the richness of the spinach and almonds.
Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 2 to 4 side-dish servings
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, slivered
6 dried apricot halves, cut into thin strips
3/4-pound (about 8 cups) baby spinach leaves
About 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, stir the almonds until lightly toasted, 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Add the oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, stir in the garlic and apricots; cook, stirring, until garlic is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes.
3. Add the spinach a few handfuls at a time; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste, and add more spinach as the leaves cook down. Stir until all the spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or at room temperature.