Greece: Spinach with Pine Nuts and Raisins (Spinaci con Pinoli e Passerine)

Recipe adapted from “Cucina Ebraica: Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen,” by Joyce Goldstein

Pine nuts are popular in both Greek and Italian cuisine. In combination with spinach and raisins, this savory and sweet mixture is used in Greek phyllo pies and a variety of lamb stews. This is an uncomplicated yet delectable vegetable prepared similarly by both Greek and Italian Jews.


2 ½ pounds spinach, stems removed and leaves rinsed well


2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

2 small yellow onions or 6 green onions, minced

4 tablespoons raisins, soaked in hot water to  cover for 15 minute, then drained

4 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Grated zest of 1 lemon 


Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add rinsed spinach and sauté quickly, turning spinach frequently, just until wilted. Transfer spinach to a colander to drain.

 Meanwhile, heat 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil in sauté pan and add onions. Cook over medium heat until onions are translucent (not browned), 5-8 minutes. Add drained spinach, raisins, and pine nuts and toss lightly to combine. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Just before serving, sprinkle with lemon zest. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Makes 6 servings.