In this recipe both cooked spinach and fresh parsley and cilantro are mixed together. It is my adaptation of an Armenian dish.
In Israel you will most often find the vivid pink ‘borani’, made with beets and beet greens instead of spinach (see variation).
As an alternative to the traditional pita bread, I prefer to spread it on toasted whole wheat or multi-grain bread, rubbed with a clove of garlic.
It can also be a side dish, accompanying poached or grilled fish or chicken.
Makes about 3 cups.
1 1/2 pounds spinach leaves, washed and coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ cup cilantro chopped
3 cups thick yogurt
2-3 garlic cloves, minced, to taste
1-3 jalapeňos, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
Borage flowers, and mint (optional)
Place the spinach in a saucepan over high heat, cover, and let it wilt without adding more water than what clings on the leaves. It needs only 2 to 3 minutes. Toss once or twice while cooking, and be careful not to let it burn. Remove the spinach from the heat, place in a colander, and let cool and drain. Press with your hands to remove as much liquid as possible. Chop finely.
In a bowl, combine the spinach with the parsley, cilantro, yogurt, garlic, and chilies, stirring well. Add a little salt and taste. Adjust seasoning with more salt and a little black pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Spread on toasts, sprinkle with walnuts and serve as an appetizer, or transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with walnuts, or decorate with borage flowers and mint.
Pink Borani with Beets
Dice 4-5 large cooked and peeled beets (together with their cooked stems and greens, if you like) and mix with the garlic, yogurt and jalapenos (as above).
Omit the parsley and cilantro, and flavor with ½ cup chopped dill, some chopped fresh mint, and the zest of ½ lemon. Sprinkle with sumac, if you like.
I add 2-3 tablespoon lemon juice, as beets are quite sweet for my taste, but you may not agree with me…