Chilled Sesame Spinach

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Chilled Sesame Spinach

We are in the midst of our second heat wave this spring, and temperatures will be in the nineties for three more days. Summer style cooking is definitely in order. This chilled sesame spinach will pair well with some cold poached salmon for our supper tonight.

I think that dark sesame oil is normally used to finish dishes, but this cooks up so quickly that I didn’t worry about scorching the oil and losing its delicate flavor.

Let the cooked spinach chill for an hour or so while you pull together the rest of your meal. Add the chopped almonds last minute for a nice added crunch.

If your sesame seeds have been in your pantry for more than several months, toss them and replace with a new box. Sesame seeds can become rancid pretty quickly and fresh ones make all the difference here.

Chilled Sesame Spinach
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2, generously
A chilled spinach side dish for hot weather cooking and dining.
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 10-ounce bag organic baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped toasted unsalted almonds
  1. Using a large skillet, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sesame seeds. Sauté until both are lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, just until the spinach has barely wilted. Promptly remove the skillet from the heat.
  3. Add the lemon juice, salt and red pepper flakes, stir with tongs to mix, then place spinach in a colander. Place the colander over a bowl and chill in fridge for about 1 hour, allowing liquid to drain.
  4. Plate chilled spinach, top with pine nuts and serve.


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12 Responses to Chilled Sesame Spinach

  1. Jayne May 13, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    This is completely new to me, I’ve not tried chilled spinach! Love coming across new ideas, keep cool in your heat wave!

    • Liz May 13, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

      It is 96 degrees right now, Jayne – even my chilled spinach won’t cool things down 😉

  2. susan @ the wimpy vegetarian May 13, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    It’s almost 90 here now. Window and doors all closed with a fan on. We’ve ordered solar shades, and I can’t WAIT for them to arrive!! Chilled spinach is inspired for nights like tonight!!

    • Liz May 14, 2014 at 8:55 am #

      Two more days of this, Susan – I just want to hide in the house. Poor garden!

  3. Suzanne May 13, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    Wow Liz, 90’s already. I thought California was supposed to have more temperate weather. Your cool spinach sounds great. Love the sesame oil and seeds, I will try this, it would be great at a BBQ.

    • Liz May 13, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

      Hey, Suzanne, I am so preoccupied by a threat of a fire in our local canyons – thanks for your comment and let’s both bring more attention to global warming.

  4. Cut 'N Clean Greens May 14, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    Wow, does that look refreshing and healthy, especially in our heat wave. We’re going to share on our Facebook page and link here so everyone can make this!

    Well done, Liz!

    (Hint: keep your sesame seeds in the freezer and they’ll last a LOT longer. They thaw very quickly for use.)

    • Liz May 14, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

      Great idea about storing the seeds in my freezer – done!

  5. Lisa @ Whisk & Cleaver May 21, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    I’m so glad our heat wave is over for the moment! This salad sounds very refreshing. I love spinach and love the idea of chilling it and adding the seeds. Well done!

    • Liz May 21, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

      Thanks, Lisa, saving this for “real” summer. So grateful you and your family survived the fire – one week ago today.

  6. Karen (Back Road Journal) May 24, 2014 at 4:36 am #

    I can only dream about 90 degree days here in New England but your chilled spinach sounds terrific. Perfect for a summer evening meal when it warms up.

    • Liz May 24, 2014 at 8:35 am #

      So much cooler here now – back to “May gray” in San Diego.

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