“Dark, heavy leaves are a sign of healthy spinach,” says Ashlee Aubin, chef-partner at Salero. So look for those as you’re shopping at a farmers’ market (Aubin suggests the Nichols Farm stall at Green City and other markets), and then try his clever take on this vegetable that’s rapidly becoming the new kale.

Ashlee Aubin’s Catalan Spinach with Piquillo Pepper Purée

Yield: 2 servings
Time: 10 minutes


½ cup Canned piquillo or red peppers
1 Tbsp. Sherry vinegar
  Salt to taste
1 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil


2 Tbsp. Golden raisins
¼ cup Hard cider
1 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
2 Garlic cloves, sliced
2 Tbsp. Pine nuts
4 cups Spinach, cleaned
1 tsp. Sherry vinegar
1 tsp. Maple syrup
  Salt to taste

1. Place the peppers and sherry vinegar in a blender. Process on high speed until smooth. Season with salt.

2. Reduce speed to medium and drizzle in the olive oil. Set aside.

3. Place the raisins and cider in a small pot and bring to a simmer. Discard liquid and set raisins aside.

4. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add garlic and pine nuts and cook until nicely toasted.

5. Add the raisins and spinach. Cook on high, tossing frequently, until the spinach just starts to wilt (about 30 seconds). Be sure not to overcook. Remove from heat.

6. Add vinegar, maple syrup, and salt. Toss to combine.

7. Place a dollop of purée on both plates and top with wilted spinach. Serve immediately.