Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The modifications are mostly to use up all of a purchased item, for convenience's sake (i.e., frozen or canned vegetables), and taste preference (omg, cumin).
Iris' Cumin Spinach & Chickpeas
Two 15-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4-6 tablespoon olive oil
1 package 10oz frozen spinach (chopped or whole, doesn't matter. I usually prefer the kind that comes in a little box, not a bag)
A hefty 1-inch slice from a country loaf or about 2 slices from sandwich loaf bread (2.5 ounces or 75 grams), crusts removed and cut into small cubes
1 little 8oz can of tomato sauce (or leftover pasta sauce)
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (or mashed, or minced, or whatever)
1-2 teaspoons ground cumin (or more, to taste)
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1. Start by defrosting your spinach according to the instructions on the package. Once it's done defrosting, let it cool a bit, then press it through a strainer to reduce some of its liquid.
2. While waiting for the spinach to defrost/cool, drain the chickpeas and continue.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the bread for about 5 minutes or until golden brown all over, then the remaining tablespoon of oil and the garlic, cumin and pepper. Cook for 1 minute more or until the garlic is nutty brown.
4. Transfer to a food processor, blender or mortar and pestle along with the vinegar, and mash to a paste. Mash mash mash. (Now's around the time when I'd start boiling water for couscous).
5. Return the mixture to the pan and add the drained chickpeas and tomato sauce. Stir until the chickpeas have absorbed the flavors and are hot. Season with salt and pepper (add more cumin, to taste. I love me some cumin). If the consistency is a little thick, add some water (I have never had this problem).
6. Once the chickpeas start to be soft enough to eat, add the spinach and cook until it is hot. If you cook the spinach too long, it'll turn black. I usually wait to add the spinach until a few minutes before I plan on serving.
7. Check for seasoning and serve either by itself, or with some couscous.
Are all these photos blurry and out of focus? Why yes, they are!