Épinards aux Pignons à l’Eau de Fleurs d’Orange

Spinach with Pine Nuts and Orange-Flower Water

At first sight this appears a most unexpected liaison of flavours but on further acquaintance one discovers it to be firmly in the ancient Italian tradition of savoury combined with sweet elements common to many Niçoise dishes.

Ingredients

  • 450 g(1 lb) fresh spinach
  • salt
  • 55 g(2 oz) butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • a small handful of pine nuts
  • 1–2 tablespoons orange-flower water
  • milled pepper

Method

Cook the spinach in boiling salted water. Drain well in a sieve, pressing out all the water; then chop.

Melt the butter in the spinach pan, add the oil and, when hot, stir in the pine nuts for 2 minutes. Return the spinach to the pan, stirring until the butter and the oil have been absorbed.

Remove from the heat and stir in the orange-flower water. Turn into a serving dish and sprinkle a little more flower water on top. Serve hot or cold as a separate course.

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