Now that we have the yogurt draining technique down, let’s put that yogurt to use. My favorite way is to mix the yogurt with cooked spinach, onion, and garlic, in a Persian dish called “Borani Esfenaaj”. Most Persian restaurants serve this as an appetizer with some pita or lavash bread, however, traditionally Persian cuisine is not split into different courses. Instead everything is served at the same time on the “Sofreh” or a cloth/spread on the ground.
Usually I have this dish on the side with a main dish, but I also recommend it as a spread or dip. For those of you looking to cut some calories throughout the day (like me!) this is a healthy alternative to the traditional spinach dip made with mayonnaise and/or sour cream.
Borani Esfanaaj (or Yogurt with Spinach)
Prep & Cook time: 15 min. + at least an hour of cooling
1 tsp of olive oil, or any oil you have on hand
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups fresh spinach or a package of frozen spinach, washed
¼ tsp salt
Pinch of pepper
1 ½ cups of the drained yogurt (see previous post)
1- Drizzle the oil into a medium pan and sauté the onion and garlic on medium-low heat until tender and the onions are almost see-through.
2- Add the spinach and cook until leaves are wilted. Add salt and pepper
3- Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.
4- In a small bowl mix together the drained yogurt and cooked spinach. Add any salt or pepper to taste.
5- Cool in the fridge for at least another 45 minutes. Then enjoy!