Last week, I visited Waltham Fields Community Farm for a reading by Lisa M. Hamilton, author of Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness. They asked me to prepare a few salads with their produce to serve the attendees.
With all this rain and cool weather, they had a glut of spinach. So much that they could not keep up with the harvest and the leaves were rather large by the time they did. They gave me 11 pounds for the event.
Such spinach is ideal for cooking, less so for a salad, because cooking reduces its mass considerably. My crate cooked down to about ¾ gallon in volume. I snagged a little off the top to eat with my own dinner the night before the event, and reheated it in garlic and olive oil. If I had more, I would have frozen it. The remainder I served with a Japanese style sesame dressing.
Chilled Spinach Salad with Sesame Dressing
1 pound fresh spinach, washed
8 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
2 tbs. sake
2 tsp sugar
2 tbs. soy sauce
1 tbs. rice vinegar
¼ cup water or dashi
Heat a large skillet over high flame. Add spinach (no oil, just the residual water from washing). Cook the spinach just until it wilts, turning occasionally.
Chill spinach in refrigerator.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the remaining ingredients together. Blend until smooth.
Squeeze out excess water from spinach. Drizzle dressing on top just before serving.