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Spinach Cake

spinach cake

Community Supported Spinach Salad

Our weekly CSA share kicked in yesterday and we received a ton of fresh organic produce! For those of you who aren’t familiar, “CSA” stands for community supported agriculture. This relatively new socio-economic concept changes the way food is produced, distributed and sold, creating small scale closed markets for farmers in which the consumer participates in the risk and rewards of the farm.

One of the great benefits of the CSA (in addition to receiving produce the day it is picked) is that it gives farmers more time to do what they do best –grow food. By cutting out the middle man, the farmers also receive more money for their crops and save time by not having to market produce to stores.

Earlier this year my family purchased a “share” in this season’s crop from Abbondanza. This means we receive vegetables straight from the farm each week during the harvest months.

Top 10 Reasons to Join a CSA

  1. Create a relationship with the person who grows your food
  2. Help farmers -money goes directly to grower, not middle man and chain stores
  3. Support neighborhood businesses –be a part of re-localization effort
  4. Reduce fossil fuel consumption used in food transport
  5. Support land intensive organic farming
  6. Purchase nutrient dense foods
  7. Eat locally
  8. Eat seasonally
  9. Eat fresh food
  10. Receive weekly basket of produce –often same day it is harvested

Frankly, our farm share is looking great this year –although we actually only purchased a “half share,” we received more greens yesterday than I could figure out what to do with. This sent me rummaging through my recipes last night in search of culinary solutions to my vegetable overload.

The biggest “problem” was spinach. What to do with the several pounds of spinach crowding out the other greens in the veggie drawer of my fridge? Spinach cake of course!

Spinach Cakeprint
1 ½ pounds spinach, thoroughly washed, leave stems on if they are not tough
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil or olive oil
1 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, whisked
½ cup zante currants
1 teaspoon celtic sea salt

  1. Wilt spinach in a large covered saucepan, over low heat (do not add water) 5 minutes, until tender
  2. Drain and cool, then gently squeeze moisture out of spinach
  3. Place spinach in food processor and pulse until coarsely blended, then set aside
  4. In a small skillet, warm 3 tablespoons oil, add pine nuts and saute until golden brown
  5. Add garlic to pan of pine nuts and saute together an additional minute
  6. In a large bowl, combine pine nuts mixture, blended spinach, eggs, currants and salt
  7. Spread mixture into a greased 7 x 11 inch baking dish
  8. Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes
  9. Serve
Makes 12 spinach cakes

This spinach recipe is based on Claudia Roden’s Tortino di Spinaci. As I have mentioned before, she is my all time favorite cookbook author. I often hear her speaking about the history of Jewish food on NPR. She is basically a food historian, as well as a culinary genius.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do and that it solves your spinach harvest woes!


posted on June 13, 2008

  1. Ayden

    Though I cannot see myself making this recipe, it does look absolutely divine.

  2. This looks delicious!
    We’ve been changing all our eating habits at my house, and I’m glad to have found your blog :)

  3. Ya'ara @ bishulog.co.il

    Elana!!

    What a delicious combination..
    I love it!!

  4. Ayden Thanks!

    Lauraldawn Glad to have you stop by and thanks for you sweet comment.

    Ya’ara -Thanks, if you make it let me know how it turns out for you :-)

    Moi -It’s in Boulder, CO., though I bet you have a bunch of CSA’s in Seattle.

  5. Elana, I nominated you for a blog award, Arte y Pico. It comes with a meme, but I chose not to do it as I’m all memed out. If you want to display the award, just copy it off this post:
    http://milkforthemorningcake.blogspot.com/2008/06/how-builders-stole-my-mojo-and-straight.html

    x x x

  6. ~M

    This looks absolutely delicious, Elana. Do you think it would work just as well with dried cranberries or green raisins instead of the currents?

    I would appreciate some advice – from Elana or any of y’all…I am going out of town for 2 days for a friend’s wedding. What healthy snacks would you bring? I am seriously considering making another batch of your amazing power bars (and not sharing them!!) :)

  7. Looks delicious! I had considered a CSA this year but I was apparently late in joining and the only one still available that had half shares didn’t really have stuff I like. Now I’m glad, because Iowa is pretty much entirely underwater and I’m sure there won’t be much fresh produce available for the rest of the season :-(

  8. Megabeth @ megabeth.net

    This looks great…and easy to make! If I get spinach overload I’ll most certainly try this.

  9. Naomi -Thanks so much! Love your blog, especially the recent story of the wolf whistlers. You go girl!

    ~M – I like your substitution ideas for this recipe, I think they sound delicious. Per the traveling question, yes, I think the power bars would travel well. I also like to bring trail mix along with me when I go on vacation. Have a great trip!

    Judith -Good decision and I’m so sorry about all of the flooding out there.

    Megabeth -Thanks for stopping by and if you do make it, let me know how it turns out for you.

  10. Tara

    Love this blog!!! Great looking recipe!!! I love spinach!

  11. Tara -Thanks for stopping by and for your feedback I really appreciate it!

  12. This recipe looks delightful. Just the type of dish I love to eat. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Great looking dish! I love how perfectly toasted the pine nuts got.

  14. Alexa -Thanks for your kind words!

    Maggie – Yes, the pine nuts are just delicious.

  15. Sheryl

    I made a completely gluten free Rosh Hashanah dinner. The spinach pie was loved by one and all. It was even better cold the next day. My kids have asked me to make it again so they can take it in their lunch.

  16. Sheryl,

    Thanks for stopping by with this great report! I really appreciate it and I’m glad the kids liked the cake.

    Elana

  17. Ninufar

    L’Shana Tova Elana and guests!

    I can report to you and to ~M that indeed, using cranberries instead is very yummy. Even with the corner-cutting version I made, I hesitate to admit, with frozen spinach from parts unknown. Also w/only 2 T of oil (ran out).

    This is the first Elana’s Pantry recipe I have tried, and I said a little Shehecheyanu (sp?) over it. I will probably try to make a version w/sunflower seeds (cheaper and okay for my nut-allergy cousins) as well.

    Not only is tonight’s edition delicious, it was pretty easy to make. And maybe other readers can relate to this — after years of replacing this or that ingredient, it was exciting to cook something that was completely cooked in the time stated in the recipe, woo-hoo!

    Thanks for sharing your work…

  18. Hi Ninafur,

    Thanks for stopping by and letting me know how your experimentation went! I really like to hear about results when people tinker.

    Shehecheyanu is my younger son’s favorite prayer (mine too), so thanks for sharing with me that you used it to bless the spinach cake.

    I bet the sunflower seed version will be delicious, please let me know how it turns out if you make it for the nut-allergy cousins.

    Shana Tova!
    Elana

  19. susan

    i made this for a gluten free dinner party and this was DIVINE! i definitely want to make this again and again!

  20. susan,

    Thanks so much for your comment; glad you enjoyed it!

    Elana

  21. Ninufar

    Hello again, & Chag Sameach!

    Sunflower seeds = okay.

    Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) = fantastic!

    They turn the oil bright green while being toasted, though you can’t tell once everything is mixed together.

    Also, I can’t find my forum thread on this, so let me report that in the egg-replacing department, I do not recommend the flaxseed trick w/this recipe. That is unless you like stuff to gleam like low-quality (pseudo-)Asian food with too much cornstarch. =-] Mashed white beans worked well, but of course they don’t bind together like the eggs. Worth a try if you’ve got an eater who can’t have any eggs, bc the flavors of the basic recipe are quite yummy.

  22. Ninafur,

    Thanks for all of these great tips. I especially dig the idea of pumpkin seeds in this dish. Yum.

    Chag Samaech!

    Elana

  23. Ellen @ moeltini.com

    Wow! Gluten-free, CSA-friendly AND Jewish! And a local! (we live in Superior). I am so thrilled to have found your blog.

  24. Lelani

    Question about the spinach: will it work with frozen spinach? if so, how do I measure it?

  25. Liz

    I made it and it is just delicious!! I will try it with frozen spinach next time. I used raisins and it was great and even my spinach-hating husband liked it.I am so excited about finding your blog.As a previous e-mail said “gluten-free and Jewish” What a great combo…..Terrific!

  26. Thanks for your comments ;-)

    Per the frozen spinach, I haven’t tried that. Feel free to experiment.

  27. Hi there!

    A friend of mine told me about your site and I have to say I really love it! I am looking to start on the Paleo diet and many of your recipes go along with it. I tried this spinach tonight with cranberries and it was devine! Even my picky 2 yr old ate it! I will be putting it on my blog to share with others. Thanks!!!

  28. Sandra Gillett

    I have only been following your site for a couple of weeks. I am fascinated by your recipes. Everything I have tried has turned out and is delicious. I was excited when I read this recipe because I love all the ingredients separately. I did not have currants so I used raisins. I thought the raisins were too sweet. Since I really like sun-dried tomatoes I added some and they were good but a bit chewy. Even with the too sweet raisins and the chewy tomatoes I thought this was really good and fun to make. Thank you for all you do.

  29. katie h

    Made this today – it is delicious!! Thanks Elana!

  30. rachel

    Just made this (sadly with frozen spinach and raisins) as my family’s contribution to a seder. It was a big hit with requests for a repeat next year! It was so delicious that I certainly won’t be waiting ’til then to make it again. Thanks so much for the great (and super easy) recipe.

  31. Nadine

    Thanks for the recipe! We loved it, even my 5 year old gobbled it down, he just started eating spinach a couple of weeks ago, he wouldn’t touch it before that..
    I did add 1 1/2 tablespoon of coconut flour as I am a new admirer of this flour and I like it’s texture when added in foods.

  32. hollylaporte

    This spiniach cake is amazingggg!
    It goes perfectly with fish.
    I will definitely be cooking this up once a week.

  33. Liz

    I just discovered your site a few days ago. Such inspiration! I just tried my first of your recipes – the CSA spinach cake recipe. No currants in the house, so I subbed apple juice-sweetened dried cranberries. DELICIOUS. Thank you.

  34. Elizabeth Brett

    This looks absolutely stupendous! I’m making it for dinner. Strange coincidence: A cousin I just found had a DNA test that showed we have some Sephardic Jewish blood (from New Spain area circa 1500 probably). So just a few minutes ago was searching for Sepahardic recipes and bought Claudia Roden’s Jewish Food Cookbook. Small world :)

  35. Melissa

    I’m wondering if I could use egg replacers with this instead of eggs or is it one of those recipes that there is no substitute. I have an egg sensitivity.

  36. Stephanie

    Can you tell me how to find out about CSA in my area?

  37. Miranda

    Is there a way to make this without eggs?

  38. Lisa Sparks

    Made this dish last weekend and ate the last piece last night for dinner. OMG that is so good. I loved it! Can’t wait to make another one because I still have pine nuts left. They were a little pricey at Whole Foods so this dish is definitely an occasional treat. Still yummy tho! Tks. – L

  39. Chris

    Elana,

    I know that just yesterday I said that I quit email, but I just had to let you know how much I loved the spinach cake.

    Yum Yum!

    Chris

  40. Rebekah

    Elana,
    Thank you for this recipe! I just made it for an early dinner, but I used pecans instead(since it was on a whim). I am in love!!

  41. Jenna

    I can’t even explain how delicious this is! It’s perfect! I want it for breakfast, lunch and dinner! I’ll even take it for dessert! :)

  42. gulie

    Somewhere related to Eleanas pantry i saw a comment on how SPINACH is a food that releases HISTAMINES. I think there were other foods in the list. Since I was told NEVER to eat spinach again because i was so allergic to it, I’d LOVE to have that list to pass on to others with food allergy/sensitivity. thanks so much Ps. I am now so well that I DO eat the baby spinach leaves about once a month now.

  43. Erica

    Made this last night for Passover, outstanding and super easy to make. This one is a keeper

  44. Cassandra

    I made this dish tonight and LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! I am always looking for yummy ways to make spinach and this one is 5 star!!! I will definitely be making this one over and over. I will pass the link on to MANY of my friends, too!! Thanks, Elana!!!!

    (I added a cup of diced mushrooms in the beginning…. and substituted golden raisins, chopped…. delish!)

  45. Cassandra

    PS. I also used 2-10oz boxes of organic frozen chopped spinach. Worked wonderfully!!!

  46. bob

    I wasn’t sure how the currants would go in there since I am not a big fan of dried fruit in savoury dishes. I subbed in sultanas since we didn’t have any currants and I would have to say it really makes the dish. Nice and simple way to add a bit of sweetness. Thanks for the recipe.

  47. Okay for these spinach cakes… Are the only good at room temperature? how many are a serving would you say… Also, what if I wanted to make couple dozen and then warm them up at work… do you think they would still be good? I’m trying to find recipes that are great for bringing to work and thought these would be a great option! Please let me know!

  48. Nikasha

    I just made this again last night. So good! It’s a winner every time. I use cranberries instead of currants, and it’s delish.

    @Alexis, I get 6 pieces out of 1 recipe. They are perfect for work lunches. If I’m having it with no other side dishes, I eat 2 pieces. Otherwise 1/6 recipe is a nice portion size. I like them straight out of the fridge (as well as straight out of the oven).

  49. Sam

    A bit pricey with pine nuts, has anyone tried it with other nuts? Thisnking of subbing walnuts in next time.

  50. Joi

    Your recipes are amazing. So glad I found your site!

  51. Jen

    I made this with quite a few substitutions and it was great, so my conclusion is that this is a pretty versatile recipe. I used rainbow chard, olive oil, walnuts, and dried cranberries instead of the spinach, grapeseed oil, pine nuts and currants. It was pretty with the rainbow chard and cranberries. I was pleasantly surprised that my kids loved it too!

  52. Lizzy

    Hi,

    I tripped upon your recipe for Spinach Cake while trying to find a spinach quiche recipe. I decided to cook your recipe over the quiche recipes I found and I’m glad I did. It was so delicious, easy, and my family devoured it! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

    And on a side note: I didn’t have enough pin nuts so I used a mixture of pine nuts and crushed almonds, which worked great.

  53. Amy

    I cannot believe how delicious this is. I am not a fan of cooked spinach, so I was skeptical, but it’s very tasty with the other ingredients.

    I used pumkin seeds seasoned with tamari and dried cherries (sweetened with apple juice)

    I have an egg sensitivty so I used Energ-G egg substitute and it worked perfectly as a binder.

    Thanks so much for giving me new ways to enjoy vegetables.

  54. Jenny

    This recipe caught my eye instantly. The cake looks so beautifull and appetizing. When I went through the ingredients, I got even more interested.
    I did not have the pine nuts or the currants, so I used pecans and dried cranberries.
    It is easy to make and very nutritious. My only problem was too much salt. I usually like my food on a salty side and did not think that 1 tsp would be too much. It was for me. I
    I am definitely making this again, and again; but I will be reducing the salt.

  55. Brenda

    Is there a substitute that you’d recommend for the eggs in this recipe?

  56. melissa

    Here to praise this wonderful and versatile recipe!! I have made these spinach cakes a dozen or more times now, each time a little differently based on what I had on hand. I’ve used almost every kind of nut and it’s delicious each time. I’ve used raisins and other dried fruits when I did not have currents and it works every time. I have used many kinds of greens and now prefer a mix of spinach, kale, chard, collards. Even the more pungent greens are made palatable for less mature taste buds with this recipe. I now ALWAYS double or triple this recipe so that I have lots of cakes. They keep very well in the fridge and get sweeter and more delicious by the day. I eat them cold for breakfast. I take them on the go as an energy bar. I serve them alongside a roasted or grilled meat. I pack them in lunch boxes. This recipe is a sure fire winner and I love to share it with other food enthusiasts. Thank so much for it, Elana!

  57. Sarah

    I came here to look for a grain free brownie recipie and got totally side swiped by spinach cakes!! (of course i still plan on making the brownines, just perplexed that they took a backseat to veggies!! maybe i’m turning into a grown up!) i didn’t quite have enough spinach on hand or currents so I tried some experimenting that hopefully hasn’t deviated too far…

    with just a little bit of spinach i added a bundle of italian parsley and some fresh mushrooms (chopped in the processor, salted and squeezed out the water in a mesh bag). instead of currents I diced up an asian pear from the tree … oh yes and added 1/2 a lemon’s bit of juice.

    i can’t wait to try it (in the oven at the moment) — thank you for the inspiration! I’ve been looking for more ways to eat greens that’s convenient and quick. thanks elana! :)

  58. Tui

    I just made this as a side dish, with sunflowers instead of pine nuts, and left out the currants, and eggs (i din’t bake it). It is sooo delicious! what a wonderful recipe

  59. Just made this after ogling the recipe for over a year. I used a pound of fresh mixed greens from our CSA share, they had an early harvest from their greenhouse! It included chard, arugula, spinach, etc.

    I also threw in some red onion which I had already chopped in the fridge, and roasted garlic also in the fridge from a previous dinner so I used that instead of raw garlic. I subbed sunflower seeds for the pine nuts, and golden raisins for the currants.

    I used only one egg. I didn’t squeeze all of the moisture out of the greens (due to laziness)… and it turned out great. The roasted garlic made it smell incredible and I love how fresh and delicious the greens are. High quality, local ingredients really make a huge difference.

    Thanks, Elana!

  60. Sarah

    Thank you Elana,

    We ate this last night and it was delicious (I didn’t have currants, but used organic raisins and it worked just fine) I’m crossing my fingers that it freezes OK as this would be a perfect make ahead meal with a fresh salad.

  61. Regina

    Confused on recipe for spinach cake, how many eggs, you don’t list them in the ingredients.
    Thank you.

  62. Lisa

    This dish was so simple and delicious. My 7 yr old daughter now loves spinach! Amazing.

  63. Bonni

    I made this last night as a tester for party I’m having next week. I LOVE it! Might try it with arugula next time.

    That said though I wonder if I should jazz it up a little making it an hors d’oeuvre rather than a side. Maybe add a little cheese? Any thoughts on this? Thanks!

  64. I just made this. It is soooooo good!

    I kind of changed it around only because of what I had in my house. So I didn’t have enough spinach so I threw in kale and bok choy. I didn’t have pine nutes so I used almonds instead. I used raisins instead of currants. I used ginger, cumin, cinnamon, sumac, garlic, cardamom, turmeric, paprika, and ginger. It was fabulous!!!!

    I sent this recipe to my mom. Maybe this will show up at our Passover Seder.

  65. Connie

    I love pine nuts but too expensive. What can we use as substitute for pine nuts?

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