Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Iranian Yogurt & Spinach Dip- Borani Esfanaaj

To represent Iran in our 7 Countries Dinner, I chose this Spinach and Yogurt Dip.  The dip went SO well with our Syrian beef kabobs and the Yemeni bread.  This dip is really similar to an Afghan dip I made a few years ago.  The Iranian one is different in that it features toasted walnuts on top, which was a very nice touch.  And, there's no onion.  Just garlic, instead.  Make sure you use thick Greek-style yogurt for this recipe.  I prefer the full-fat version.
Iranian Yogurt & Spinach Dip- Borani Esfanaaj
adapted from Food

6 ounces baby spinach
2 medium cloves garlic
1 tablespoon unrefined extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle
2 cups Greek or Balkan yogurt (thick type only please)
sea salt, to taste
1 teaspoon dried mint (only use dried please!)
1⁄4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see recipe)

1.  Toast chopped walnuts in a dry frying pan until fragrant. Be careful not to burn! Set aside to cool.

2.  Steam baby spinach until just wilted.  Drain well and chop fine.

3.  Mince 1 clove garlic and saute in 1 tbs unrefined extra virgin olive oil, then add the chopped spinach and a pinch or two sea salt. Stir.  Remove from stove and allow to cool, then squeeze out excess liquid.

4.  In a bowl and the yogurt, other garlic clove (raw-minced), baby spinach, and dried mint and sea salt to taste, stir gently.  Transfer to the bowl you are serving it in (I use a shallow, round bowl) and sprinkle with toasted, chopped walnuts and a trail of unrefined extra virgin olive oil.

5.  Serve with lavash (flatbread from Iran).
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