Variations of this Persian Borani Esfanaj dish are popular throughout the Mediterranean region. We like the thick, creamy texture of organic yogurt, though you can use any kind of plain, fat-free yogurt. Letting the dip stand before refrigerating it allows flavors to meld. To minimize prep time, you can use frozen spinach, chopped and squeezed dry, and omit the first step. Serve with crudités, pita, or crispy flatbread.
2 quarts water
1 (10-ounce) package fresh spinach, chopped
2 teaspoons butter
1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain fat-free organic yogurt (such as Stonyfield Farm)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
How to Make It
Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add fresh spinach, and cook for 1 minute. Drain well. Place spinach on several layers of paper towels; squeeze until barely moist.
Melt butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 6 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in spinach and salt. Cool to room temperature.
Combine spinach mixture, organic yogurt, black pepper, and ground cinnamon in a medium bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until chilled.
Love this dip.... I just made it to serve as an app for Easter dinner tomorrow, but I'm not sure it will last until then! I may add some lemon to the dish because I think it needs a tiny bit of acidity, but overall, I think it is GREAT! I LOVE that it uses greek yogurt (I use Greek Yogurt for everything from sandwich spreads to taco toppings)!
Even though I'm rating this as only 3 stars, I will probably try to make this again with a few changes. For some odd reason, the cinnamon in this was quite powerful in my opinion, and tasted out of place--so that will be the first thing to go in round 2. Next, I added about 1-2 tsp dried dill and 1-2 tsp lemon juice, both of which really helped this along, but it still needed something extra: enter 1 cup asiago cheese. The cheese I think really made a world of difference; not ideal if youre looking for low-fat dips, but certainly better for you than traditional cheese spreads. And you can't go wrong with non-fat plain greek yogurt--always a health winner.
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