Monday, January 6, 2014

Chickpea Saga Spinach

When I was a senior in college, I lived with two "suities" (pronounced "sweeties") in an apartment on campus. Once a month we organized a fancy dress-up dinner party at our place. Each one had a theme, and we took turns inviting different groups of friends. One month I wanted to make a new side dish--I think we were trying to cook vegetarian--that involved spinach, chickpeas, onion, garlic, and some basic Italian spices. Actually, the original recipe required some brand-name Indian pickles or something, but I just edited that out. We three piled into the one's car to go grocery shopping. Not finding chickpeas at the first store, we stopped by an expensive specialty store. None there, either. By this point, we needed to start cooking, or there wouldn't be anything to serve when our guest arrived. So the suitie with the car dropped the other two of us off and struck out for a third store. She arrived just in time with a can: "Garbanzo Beans," read one side of the label. "Chickpeas" read the other side. It is entirely possible that the desired legumes were to be had at all the stores we visited, but we just didn't know! Whoops. At any rate, the dish earned a memorable moniker and was a success on the table.
Ingredients: 1 lb spinach (frozen is fine, fresh is better) 15 oz can chickpeas, drained 1 sm onion, finely chopped 8-10 cloves garlic, minced (more or less to taste) 2 tbsp lemon juice (=1 sm or 1/2 lg lemon) 4 tbsp water 4 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning OR make your own: 2 tsp dill seed, 1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp black pepper
Saute the onion, garlic, and seasonings in the lemon juice and water. Add the chickpeas to warm. Stir in the spinach and cook until lightly wilted (if fresh) or hot (if frozen). Serve.
Considering all the difficulties we had getting the title to my car transferred, I thought a little Chickpea Saga Spinach was in order.

(You'll have to imagine the chickpeas in the spinach, as I had
used up our store of chickpeas in the lentil-rice patties!)

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