Ok so I am going to be very honest here, I have absolutely no idea when i first ate this and how i even know how to make it. Every time i make this dish my mind goes back to April 7th 2008. My husband and I went to Caribou Coffee to study for our exams (boards for him and a psych exam for me) My stomach kept tightening up so we decided to go home and relax and have dinner. Keep in mind i was 9 months pregnant and my due date was about 2 weeks away. I decided i was too tired to cook dinner so i told my husband i didn't feel well (ya ya people i took advantage of being pregnant) so he said he would cook and this is what he made (while i gave him the instructions). Anyways i remember this day because apparently i was in labor cause i had my son the next afternoon (i don think it was because of the spinach though).So here is how i make sabanigh (spinach in Arabic)
First i cut up an onion (i have used both yellow and red onion so use whatever you have) and cook it in some olive oil. IMPORTANT: DO NOT ADD SALT WHATEVER YOU DO!!!
So when the onions have softened you start adding in the spinach
I use baby spinach but feel free to use the big spinach just cut the stems off and chop it a little. I washed my spinach really well and then i dried it, you don't want any excess water.
So after i add in the spinach i cover it so that it wilts a bit and keep adding the spinach in small batches until it is all incorporated.
The last step is to add cilantro. Nothing goes together better than spinach and cilantro.
I always top it with walnuts but today i had pomegranate and some ground meat cooked with some arabic spices. Okay so remember when i said DO NOT ADD SALT, well it is because the spinach will release all of its water and you will be left with a spinach soup, not so bhibik ya sabanigh. Add salt while you eat, that's just the way i roll cause the spinach is going to release water anyways so why add to it. This dish is eaten with pita bread and a squeeze of lemon (i also like to pour over some dibbis rimman a.k.a. pomegranate molasses) This is a great side dish and can be eaten warm or room temp.
1 small red onion chopped
1/2 cup of olive oil (use the good stuff)
5 cups of baby spinach
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
pomegranate seeds (optional)
ground meat (optional)
Dibbis Rimman (pomegranate molasses)