Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts

Spinach with raisins and pine nuts, when prepared simply yet perfectly as here, is a classic for a reason. Certain to leave a lasting effect on guests...not to mention lingering recipe requests.

Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts Recipe

In this spinach with raisins and pine nuts recipe, which can be traced back to both Italian and Catalan roots, there’s a super pleasing juxtaposition of vegetal and sweet. Notes author Rachel Roddy, who jotted this recipe down while living in Italy, “It is not at all Roman to mix butter with oil, but I am not Roman and I love a little butter with my spinach: it soothes its metallic edges, especially if the richness is tempered by some lively extra-virgin olive oil. You can, of course, use all butter or all olive oil.” We couldn’t agree more. This recipe has been updated. Originally published July 20, 2009.Renee Schettler Rossi

Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4


  • 1/4 cup (1.3 ounces or 37 grams) raisins or golden raisins
  • 1 pound (454 grams) baby spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (.75 ounces or 21 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (1.25 ounces or 35 grams) pine nuts
  • Salt


  • 1. Soak the raisins in a bowl with enough warm water to cover for 10 minutes.
  • 2. Rinse the spinach in a couple changes of cold water. Discard any wilted or bruised leaves and trim away any thick, woody stalks. Place the spinach in a large pan with nothing but the water that clings to the leaves, cover the pan, and cook over low heat until the spinach has collapsed and is tender. This should take 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the freshness and age of the spinach.
  • 3. Transfer the spinach to a colander and drain. Once it is cool enough, squeeze it with your hands to eliminate any excess liquid.
  • 4. Peel and gently crush the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife. In a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-low heat, gently cook the garlic until fragrant and lightly golden and then remove it. Add the butter to the pan, let it foam slightly, then add the pine nuts and turn them in the oil before adding the spinach and a pinch of salt. Cook for 2 minutes, or just until the spinach leaves glisten. Drain the raisins and add them to the pan, gently turn the ingredients a couple more times, and serve immediately.
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