This chilled sesame spinach is officially my favorite recipe so far for Summer 2016. And yes, I know summer is only officially a few hours old, but since I consider it summer as soon as you can start eating dinner outside, I’ve had a little extra time to make this official proclamation. And so far, this cool, tangy, super easy bowl of deliciousness is my happy healthy go-to summer side dish. Please don’t tell the corn and the tomatoes (their turn will come!)…but for now chilled sesame spinach wins the summer day. Let’s make it!
You can make this dish with any kind of spinach, but I like baby spinach the best. It’s nice and tender, and you can usually get it pre-washed, which saves you the step of rinsing and also cutting all the stems off of the bigger spinach leaves. But either variety will work and taste just fine! You are going to dunk your spinach leaves into some briskly boiling water just until it is wilted, which is literally going to take all of about 30 seconds.
Dump it into a strainer and then transfer it to a bowl of ice water – this is where the chilling down starts! Swirl it around for another 30 seconds and then drain it again. Now using your hands, squeeze every drop of liquid you can get out of it – and when you are done, squeeze it once again for good luck. Spinach is absorbent stuff!
Now transfer it to a cutting board and give it a nice rough chop and pop it into a mixing bowl while you whisk up the sauce. The sauce is a quick mixture of sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and of course sesame seeds! Shake it all up, pour it over the spinach and that’s it! Your perfect summer side dish is finished.
You can either pop it in the fridge for more chilling, or you can enjoy it exactly as is. Ah, summer. Welcome back.
- Coarse salt
- 2 pounds baby spinach, washed
- 1½ tablespoons sesame oil
- 1½ tablespoons naturally brewed soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- Fill a large bowl with ice water, set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, season with salt. Add spinach and cook until just wilted, about 30 seconds. Drain immediately in colander and plunge into ice water.
- Let spinach cool completely, about 30 seconds, drain again. Using your hands, squeeze excess water out of spinach. When you think you are done squeezing, do it one more time. Spinach is absorbent stuff. Transfer to cutting board.
- Coarsely chop spinach and place in medium bowl, set aside.
- Meanwhile, whisk together oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. (I do this while the water is boiling). Add dressing and sesame seeds to the spinach, mix to combine.
- Spinach may be refrigerated for up to 2 days. I, however, have trouble not eating it between mixing in the sesame seeds and putting it on the plate, that's how good it is. If you love spinach, that is.