Emerald Bundles

2 T. sesame seeds
3 cloves of garlic
1 - 1-inch piece ginger, sliced into 4 pieces
2 lbs. fresh spinach, long stems left intact and triple washed
3 T. tahini
1 T. tamari
1 T. toasted sesame oil
2 t. unbleached cane sugar

In a non-stick skillet, place the sesame seeds and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Remove them from the pan and set aside. Fill a large pot half full with water, and add the cloves of garlic and ginger. Bring the mixture to a boil, and allow to boil for 5 minutes. Fill a large bowl with cold water and 2 cups ice cubes, and set aside. Blanch the spinach, in batches, in the flavored boiling water for 1 minute. Immediately transfer the spinach to the bowl of ice water and allow it to cool. Remove 1 clove of garlic and 1 slice of ginger from the boiling water, set them aside, and either discard the remaining water or use it for soups or to cook with vegetables or grains.

Drain the spinach well, divide it into 3 equal portions, and straighten out the leaves of spinach. Using a sushi mat or a large piece of waxed paper, form each portion into a long log, and pull back on the mat to tightly pack the leaves. Cut each log into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Place the spinach bundles cut-side up on a platter and sprinkle them with the reserved toasted sesame seeds. In a blender or food processor, place the reserved garlic and ginger, the remaining ingredients, and process until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl. Serve the dipping sauce alongside the emerald bundles.

Serves 6-8


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