5 July 2008

Spanish-style Greens with Chickpeas

Posted in food at 10:11 pm by Tricia

Sometimes I think I should just start a Madhur Jaffrey fan club. So many of the vegetable recipes I cook are from her World Vegetarian cookbook. And here’s another one! Like the spanakorizo recipe a page earlier in the cookbook – another way to use up lots of greens! – this ends up being pretty rich, I guess from all that olive oil. But hey, if you want to be authentic, you gotta use all the olive oil. :^)

My modifications: I used canned chickpeas (unsalted, so I didn’t modify the salt in the recipe, but if you use salted beans you might want to leave out the salt). Since I drained the beans and didn’t have cooking liquid, I added 2 cups of water with the beans. Instead of just spinach, I used a wide variety of greens – spinach, braising greens, tatsoi, and whatever else I found in the fridge. (I’ve gotten behind in greens consumption, I guess!) The greens get cooked way down in all that time on the stove, plus the seasoning combination is great, so the overall effect was wonderfully rich and flavorful. I served this with a mildly spiced couscous and some manchego cheese.

Spanish-Style Spinach with Chickpeas (espinacas con garbanzos)
From Casa Ruiz in Triana, Seville

3/4 cup (5 oz) dried chickpeas
1/4 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 lbs fresh spinach, washed and cut into wide, ribbonlike shreds
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1.5 tsp paprika
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes
1.25 tsp salt

Soak the chickpeas overnight in cold water to over by about 3 inches. Drain.
In a medium pot, bring the chickpeas and 2.5 cups of water to a boil. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 2.5 to 3 hours, or until the chickpeas are tender.
Put the oil in a wide, medium pot and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the garlic and stir once or twice. Add the spinach and stir until the spinach has wilted. Add the chickpeas with their cooking liquid, the cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, salt, and 1 cup of water. Mix well. Cook on medium heat, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. There should be a little thick juice left at the bottom of the pan. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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