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Author Notes: I love saag paneer, but during the height of summer I also like to savor the flavors of fresh greens and sweet cherry tomatoes, so I decided to create a "raw" saag paneer salad: spinach and cherry tomatoes topped with cubed paneer cheese sauteed in a jalapeno, ginger, and spice-infused oil. I made this salad with bietola greens from my Farmers market, which are a dark Tuscan beet green, but it would also be delicious, and more authentically saag, made with spinach leaves. —Fairmount_market
Serves 4 as a side salad, 2 as an entree
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 bunch bietola or spinach
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 inch ginger root
- 1 clove garlic
- ~3 ounces paneer cheese
- 1 green onion, large outer leaves removed
- 1/4 cup neutral oil such as grape seed
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- freshly ground black pepper
- Wash the bietola or spinach, slice the leaves into 1/4 inch strips, and discard the stems. Wash and halve the cherry tomatoes. Toss the greens and tomatoes with the lemon juice, salt, and freshly ground black pepper in a large serving bowl.
- Seed the jalapeno. Peel the ginger and the garlic. Mince all three finely (you could do this in a food processor or mini-chopper). Chop the paneer cheese into 1/4 inch cubes. Chop the white and tender inner green leaves of the green onion into narrow rings.
- Just before you are ready to serve the salad, heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the black mustard seeds, fenugreek, and cumin seeds and let them sizzle for 1 minute. Add the jalapeno, ginger, and garlic mix and cook for a minute. Add the paneer cheese cubes and a pinch of salt and saute for a minute. Add the green onions and cook for a minute. Add the garam masala and saute for a final minute, until the cheese is well coated with the spices and the oil is bubbling and fragrant.
- Pour the spiced cheese cubes and oil over the greens and tomatoes. Toss and serve.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dark, Leafy Greens
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Cherry Tomatoes
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chili Pepper Recipe