Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Chickpeas with Cumin and Spinach

There have been no postings here for a while, but that is not because River Cottage cooking hasn't been a priority. My first port of call is always a River Cottage cookbook. And to a minor extend the River Cottage way of life; I have planted a small vegetable garden in a raised bed with a few veggies in it. So now I have a variety of freshly-picked vegetables - including lots and lots of spinach. So I went to my every faithful River Cottage Veg book and looked up spinach in the index and found a recipe I had never tried - and, unusually, there is not a picture of it in the book. Which is perhaps why it never caught my eye.

No Cumin!!!
First I had to fry up an onion. I haven't bought onions for a while in the hope that our own will soon be ready, so the last one I had was a bit, well, past its sell-by date. But by stripping off all the outer layers there was enough onion to use. Next to find the cumin from my carefully alphabeticized shelves but, horror of horrors, there was a space between Coriander Seeds and Dill. A quick shuffle round and I found Garam Masala - well, that has Cumin in it at least... And then I went out to pick some garlic from our garden...

Garlic growing

150g spinach in the pan
Our very own garlic

Now the fun bit which is picking 150g of spinach. Anyone who has ever weighed spinach knows that you need a big pan to hold even the smallest weight. I went outside and gleaned all the spinach I could find and came in a found it weighed a tad under 150g even though there was almost a washing up bowl of the stuff.

After cooking I had a taste. It seems almost unbelievable now, but I used to taste something I had cooked and not think - hmmm, this could do with a bit of extra xxxx. I have become more adventurous with adding a bit more of this or that to improve the flavour. So this time I thought it needed a little more lemon and as I was using juice and not lemon zest as the recipe said, I just gave a squirt more from the Jiffy lemon and that made all the difference. 

John had lamb chops with it and I had it with pitta bread. It was a great success, both with the lamb and without. Overall an easy recipe and one I would definitely make again.

With lamb...

and without.

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