Spinach overload? Make goma-ae.

Spinach goma-aeI recently discovered the Coppersmith Farmer’s Market in Ironwood Plaza in Richmond near Steveston. Despite its name, it is not an actual outdoor farmer’s market that occurs once a week. It’s more on the lines of a grocery store (think: Langley Farm Market, Kins Farm Market, etc). It’s a cute little grocery store that has amazing prices on produce where a good chunk of it is local. Hey, Richmond IS practically farmville. I picked up a ton of vegetables for just over $5.00, including 2 large bunches of locally-sourced fresh spinach.

It’s been a week and I’ve only used up one. What to do with the other? Make spinach goma-ae.

Now, I am more of a wakame (seaweed salad) type of girl but once in a while I like to enjoy a well-made spinach goma-ae. Spinach goma-ae is basically a salad consisting of blanched spinach tossed with a roasted sesame seed dressing. Goma literally means “sesame dressing” which is the dominant flavour in this dish. To be completely honest with you, I sometimes avoid ordering this dish in restaurants because a number of places will often take a “shortcut” and use peanut butter in place of ground sesames since it imparts a similar nutty flavour.

In a way, this recipe will be taking a “shortcut” as well as instead of grounding the roasted sesame seeds yourself, I just included tahini which is a paste made out of ground sesame seeds. Lazy-style. But if you want to be more authentic, go right ahead and get your mortar and pestle out and grind the shit out of those sesame seeds!! And if you want to be even more lazy than that, go and use frozen spinach instead of fresh spinach — that’s what I’ll be doing next time!

Spinach goma-ae Spinach goma-ae Spinach goma-ae Spinach goma-ae Spinach goma-aeSpinach goma-ae(adapted from Le Petit Cornichon)

What you’ll need:
– 3/4 bunch fresh spinach, left whole and thoroughly washed
– 3 tbsp tahini
– 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
– 1 tsp mirin
– 2 tsps honey or agave syrup
– 1 tsp sesame oil
– 2 tsps toasted sesame seeds
– Sesame seeds, for garnish

What you’ll need to do:
1. In a pot of boiling water, blanch the fresh spinach until it wilts, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking. Squeeze out the liquid (save for another use if you desire) and pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Bring the now dried spinach to a chopping board and chop into 1″ chunks. Transfer to a serving bowl.
3. In a small, separate bowl, whisk the the rest of the ingredients together to create the dressing.
4. Mix the dressing with the spinach and serve immediately. Makes 1 serving or 2 small appetizers.

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