Spinach with Yogurt and Pine Nuts

Anadolu ıspanak ezmesi


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

Another dish of which there are endless variations. In Istanbul, Izmir and other parts of western Turkey, chopped spinach is gently softened in butter with chopped onions and then mixed with garlic-flavoured yogurt. Southeast of Ankara you might be lucky to chance upon this version, which is best served warm topped with a cool yogurt dressing.


  • 8 oz/225 g spinach, washed and steamed
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon currants, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • ½ teaspoon kırmızı biber
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing

  • 2 tablespoons thick creamy yogurt
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed with salt
  • salt


To make the dressing, mix the yogurt with the garlic and lemon juice. Add a little salt to taste and put aside.

Chop the cooked spinach to a pulp. In a small shallow pan soften the onion with the sugar and cumin seeds in the oil. Stir in the currants, pine nuts and kırmızı biber. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the spinach. Mix well, season to taste, and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Transfer the spinach to a serving dish. Spoon the yogurt over it and serve with pied while the spinach is still warm.