Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Chick Peas with Ham & Spinach

We planted some spinach at the end of July or early in August for use in the fall, and got spotty germination because it was still so hot and dry. However, there was a reasonable amount. Now it's bolting so I did my best to snatch some for use before it is too late. This recipe managed to use up quite a lot. We re-seeded after the first attempt, and with the cool weather and rain we've been having we now have lots more spinach germinating. Hopefully, this can be covered and overwintered for early spring greens.

In the mean time, this was really delicious, in addition to being quick and easy. I did have to cook the chick peas and the ham in advance, but they both went into the Instant Pot (not together) and didn't need much attention.

This is really a full meal by itself; you won't need much more than some bread and butter to keep it company.

4 servings
1 hour prep time, not including cooking the chick peas (or ham)

Chick Peas with Ham & Spinach

3 cups cooked chick peas (from 1 cup raw)
8 cups cleaned spinach leaves
1 large onion
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
1 cup diced cooked ham
2 tablespoons olive oil OR mild vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, ground
1-2 teaspoons sweet smoked Spanish paprika
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup ham stock and/or chick pea cooking water

I cooked the chick peas by putting them in a pot with plenty of water to cover, then bringing them to a boil. Then I covered them and turned off the heat, and left them to soak for several hours. Then they were drained, and put into the Instant Pot with fresh water to cover and a teaspoon of salt, and cooked for 9 minutes, then left to release naturally. They could similarly be put back in the original pot with fresh water and salt, and simmered until tender; probably somewhere between 1 and 2 hours. If you wish to use tinned chick peas, this is about 1 1/2 standard 540 ml (19 ounce) tins. Drain them well for use.

Wash and pick over the spinach, discarding any tough stems and damaged leaves. Wash very well, then drain and chop coarsely. Wash and drain well again.

Peel and chop the onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Cut the ham into dice.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook for several minutes, until softened and wilted but not browned. Add the ham and well-drained chick peas, and cook for several minutes, continuing to stir regularly, until the mixture is fairly dry and sizzling. Add the cumin, paprika, salt and pepper, and garlic. Mix in well and cook for just a minute longer, then add the ham stock or cooking water. Add the spinach.

Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, mixing in the spinach until it all well wilted. Simmer until the spinach is done to your liking. Serve at once.

Last year at this time I made Vegetables Sabzi.  

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