Saag Paneer Inspired Spinach Dip
Source: Kevin Schuder, Citizen Fox
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on October 17, 2015.
Makes about 12 appetizer-size servings
Saag Paneer Spice Blend (makes more than is needed for the dip recipe)
½ cup whole coriander seeds
¼ cup whole cumin seeds
3 tablespoons whole cardamom seeds (removed from the pods)
3 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
4 teaspoons whole fennel seeds
2 teaspoons whole cloves
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 pounds spinach, washed
1 medium yellow onion
½ cup canola oil
¼ cup minced garlic
¼ cup saag paneer spice blend
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
1½ pounds thick, slightly fermented cashew cream
Extra virgin olive oil, if desired
Grilled bread, for serving
To make the spice blend: Toast the whole spices in a skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, but not burned. Grind in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder. Add the cayenne pepper and turmeric and mix together.
To make the dip: Blanch the spinach in salted boiling water, then chill in an ice bath. When cool, squeeze out excess moisture from the spinach and chop it finely. Julienne the onion and sauté in canola oil over medium heat. When softened and slightly caramelized, add the garlic and at least 1 tablespoon of salt, and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add at least 2 tablespoons or up to ¼ cup of the spice blend and all of the chopped spinach. After a minute, add the lemon juice and turn the heat up to high. Place the cashew cream in a medium bowl and add the hot spinach mixture, stirring rapidly to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, lemon, olive oil and/or saag paneer spice blend to taste. Slather the dip over grilled bread slices.
Photo by Megan Liamos.