Two delicious vegetables, mushrooms and spinach, make their appearance in a duo of easy and healthy
Tapas dishes. The garlicky fried mushrooms are a mixture of the common white, or supermarket mushroom, and baby bella, the diminutive of the portabella mushroom . Serrano ham and garlic add a jolt of flavor to the mushrooms. The quickly cooked fresh spinach is topped with toasted pine nuts and raisins for extra crunch with a chewy sweetness.
While the white mushroom is the more common variety and is readily available fresh in the grocery store, it is actually a younger cousin of the crimini mushroom, a little older, brown in color with a slightly fuller flavor due to its age. Mushrooms, as well as spinach are regarded highly in world's healthiest food category. Both are high in antioxidants and vitamins. When buying either mushrooms or spinach, choose the freshest available. A good tip is to check with the produce manager in your grocery store to find out what day the vegetables come into the store.
Garlicky Fried Mushrooms
Serve with crusty bread to sop up the juices or atop grilled bread for an appetizer.
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound white or brown mushrooms or a mixture, washed, if desired or wipe clean, stems trimmed and halved if large
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup diced Serrano ham, or ham of choice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grilled or toasted bread
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over high heat. Add mushrooms in a layer stem sides down and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Turn over and cook an additional 2 minutes longer, or until golden.
Add the garlic and the ham, reduce the heat to medium and cook one minute. Add the wine and cook until it has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the parsley, stir and season with salt and pepper.
Serve at once with the bread on the side or spooned atop grilled bread. Serves 4 as a main and 8 as part of a small plate meal.
Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts
1/4 cup raisins, plumped in hot water for about 30 minutes
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds spinach, tough stems removed, rinsed and drained
Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook, turning and stirring constantly with tongs, until just wilted, 3-5 minutes. Drain the raisins and add to the pan along with toasted pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish and serve warm. Serves 4 as a main or 6 as part of a small plate meal.
Both recipes adapted from Joyce Goldstein's Tapas. This is my entry to WHB #321 of which I am the host of for the week of February 13-19th. Roundup for this event will be posted here on Monday, the 20th.
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