Spinach Dip with Walnuts

Serves 4-6

| Prep Time: 10 mins

| Cook Time: 20 mins

| Total Time: 35 mins

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

This healthy vegetarian dish, known as Borani Esfenaj, is a popular Persian appetizer and you'll soon see why. Loaded with nutrient-dense spinach and flavored with savory sautéed onions and shallots, this creamy yogurt dip is punctuated by crunchy walnuts. Pomegranate arils provide a lovely sweet-tart crunch to complement each bite. This dish is perfect to serve for dinner guests or as a healthy alternative to chips and store-bought dip during game day.

Our Persian Delight spice is a proprietary blend we created to showcase a number of essential flavors in Persian cuisine. Herbs such as dill and mint are used extensively. Turmeric not only provides a lovely earthy taste and orange hue, but is also thought to be an anti-inflammatory. Cinnamon and cardamom provide warm, exotic notes to balance the nutty cumin. Finally, our blend contains sumac, which lends its wonderful lemony-tart flavor to any dish. Serve with pita bread, crackers, or a veggie tray. We use the Persian Delight blend in this recipe as well as in the Beef stew recipe. But you can easily find use for the blend on fish, in soups, roasted eggplant, sprinkled on hummus, or sub in recipes for plain turmeric.


  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 shallot, diced

  • 2 tbsp olive (or vegetable) oil, divided

  • 1 lb washed baby spinach

  • 1 tbsp Piquant Post Persian Delight blend

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (extra for garnish)

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • Fresh dill (optional) for garnish

  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges for garnish )optional)

  • 1/3 cup pomegranate arils

  • Assorted crackers, flatbread, pita, or veggies


Given that this dish is a savory dip, you'll absolutely want to make sure you use plain Greek-style yogurt. Don't use yogurts with any sweeteners or flavors.

Use raw (unsalted) walnuts or pistachios in this recipe. The salted nuts you get in a can will make the dish too salty. You can pan toast them briefly if you want a roasted flavor.

Fried, caramelized onions and shallots used in this recipe are a common ingredient in many Persian dishes. You can make a large batch and freeze leftovers for quick use in future meals.

Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don't sweat it if you don't have them.


Prep the onions and shallot. Heat a large sauté pan or skillet on Med-High and drizzle 1 tbsp of oil into pan. Add the onions and shallot and sauté for 10 mins or until onions caramelize and turn golden. Remove from heat.

Wash the spinach in a large colander and shake excess water off. Add 1 tbsp oil to a large soup pot or dutch oven and heat on Med. Add the spinach to the pot. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 mins or until spinach wilts.

Add the onions/shallot mixture, walnuts, 1/4 cup of water, and Persian Delight spice to the spinach in the pot. Stir to mix and cook 5 mins until water mostly evaporates. Remove from heat and let cool 5 mins.

In a large bowl, add yogurt and spinach mixture and stir to combine. You can serve immediately or refrigerate up to 24 hours. Garnish with dill, lemon, and pomegranate. Serve with pita, flatbread, crackers, or crudités (veggies).

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • If you dont feel like making this Spinach Dip with Walnuts (Borani Esfenaj) recipe, you can use the Persian Delight spice blend as a in any recipe calling for Turmeric. You'll get a blast of more flavor than turmeric alone!

  • Try making our authentic Persian Kidney Bean and Beef Stew (Ghormeh Sabzi) recipe with the Persian Delight spice blend!

  • For the ultimate Persian comfort food, use the Persian Delight spice to make our Persian Meatballs (Koofteh Tabrizi) recipe instead.

  • Another idea is to make this lovely Persian potato and onion dish called Dopiazeh Aloo. Simply use 1 - 1.5 tsp of Persian Delight spice blend in place of the dried herbs and spices in the recipe. You can also make that dish a heartier meal by adding chicken pieces, ground beef or ground turkey.

  • Don’t forget to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

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