Spinach with Ginger Dressing

When we lived in Chicago, our favorite Chinese restaurant was a place called Mandarin Chef, which later became known as Lao Sichuan (Old Sichuan). They serve a wonderful cold spinach “salad” as a first course, and that is what I am recreating here. If you have a juicer (I’m a huge fan and the lucky recipient of such a wonderful machine as a housewarming gift from a beloved – and very generous – friend), you can juice some ginger root to add to the ginger flavor. If you don’t have fresh spinach, thaw some frozen chopped spinach and squeeze it out well. This makes a great cold dish as part of a meal or a lovely light first course.

ingredients:

  • 12-16 oz fresh spinach, washed and rinsed until no grit remains in the water

dressing:

  • 1 – 2 T sesame oil, to taste
  • 1 T ginger root, minced
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar

method:

  1. Blanch and shock the spinach, then squeeze out well before chopping coarsely.
  2. Lightly pull the spinach apart into a loose mound in a bowl.
  3. Combine the dressing ingredients, pour over the spinach, and serve.

do ahead:

The spinach can be prepared and the dressing mixed up to a day in advance. Mix with the dressing just before serving.

nutritional data:

I used the minimum amounts called for of spinach, sesame oil, and salt, and I assume this recipe serves 4 as part of a larger or multicourse meal. You can tinker with reducing the sesame oil and salt even more, but you will sacrifice some of the flavor.

  • Total calories 52, calories from fat 33
  • Total fat 4 g, saturated fat 1 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Sodium 212 mg
  • Total carbs 4 g, dietary fiber 2 g, sugars 1 g
  • Protein 2 g
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