Defining what makes a meal a good vegetarian main course is no easy task. Once you take the meat and potatoes off the plate, the format of dinner acquires a new freedom that we love.
Of course, we’re a little late to the party. Indian cooks mastered the art of vegetarian cooking long ago. Their recipes are a rich source of inspiration for us, since they produce dishes that are at once hearty, healthy, and flavorful, vegetarian food where you’d never think to miss the meat.
A good place to start is with Saag Paneer, which also goes by the name Palak Paneer. Unforgettable for its flavorful combination of freshly ground spices and silken spinach, you may have found that restaurant version of the dish are epically creamy–too rich for more than a few bites. At home, you have a change to balance the spicy-rich seesaw. We use fresh paneer cheese, which we crisp up in a pan. Towards the end, we finish with dollops of creamy yogurt, which add both tanginess and the appealing creaminess of dairy. One of our tricks for optimizing this dish is chopping the spinach after we’ve sautéed it. That helps the spinach really coat each morsel of cheese, helping you get a perfect bite each time: part crispy cheese, partly spicy, creamy spinach. You can get the full recipe over on our recipe card.
We’re happy to be participating in Food Network’s Fall Fest, a weekly blog tour of all the incredible produce we’ll be enjoying this season. This week, the topic is spinach! You can see the other bloggers’ delicious spinach creations by following the links below.