Sunday, April 18, 2010

Espinacas con Garbanzos

OK, so that's just a fancy way of saying "spinach and chickpeas". I found a sweet website called smitten kitchen and decided to try my hand at this recipe. It sounded so strange to fry pieces of bread and then put it in the blender with vinegar. But I just HAD to try it. I was surprised to find cooked chickpeas in the market. It came in a bag with a bit of fresh cilantro but I just pulled that out to use for another time. The spinach here in Taiwan is also interesting. The stems are intact and VERY long so i buy bags of spinach and end up with very little since I am only interested in the leaves. Here's the recipe. It was DELICIOUS over rice!

1/2 pound dried chickpeas, cooked until soft and tender or two 15-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound spinach, washed
A hefty 1-inch slice from a country loaf or about 2 slices from sandwich loaf bread,crusts removed and cut into cubes
1/2 cup tomato sauce ( I ended up using a bit more to make it moist)
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I didn't have this on hand, but since we keep red wine in the house for cooking, I created my own by mixing 1 TBSP. wine with 1/2 TBSP rice vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add half the olive oil. When it is hot, add the spinach with a pinch of salt and stir well. Remove when the leaves are just tender, drain in a colander and set aside.

Heat 2 more tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the bread for about 5 minutes or until golden brown on both sides, then the remaining tablespoon of oil and the garlic, cumin and pepper. Cook for 1 minute more or until the garlic is nutty brown.

Transfer to a blender along with the wine vinegar and lemon juice and mash to a paste. 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.

If the consistency is a little thick, add more tomato sauce. Add the spinach and cook until it is hot. Check for seasoning and serve over white rice. Sprinkle paprika over top.

1 comment: