December 28th, 2010

That chickpea and spinach dish

I’ve had some requests for the recipe I mentioned in this post on spinach. And because I aim to please, here you go:

olive oil, to taste
small onion, chopped
garlic to taste, chopped
a few tablespoons of tomato paste
salt to taste
a pinch of sugar
can of chickpeas, drained
fresh spinach (as much as you like, but I usually add a package)

Obviously, quantities are approximate. Saute the onions and garlic in the oil on medium heat until soft. Add tomato paste, salt, and sugar, stir, and saute a few more minutes. Add chickpeas and stir. And spinach and stir. Lower heat and cook, stirring every now and then, till spinach is nicely wilted and all the tastes blended. It can be just a few minutes or an hour or so; as you wish. If you cook it the longer times, you might have to add a tiny bit of water now and then because it can stick. But be careful; you don’t want it to get too liquid.

Serve alone, or over rice. It’s even good cold the next day—good, and good for you. Now go and sin no more.

13 Responses to “That chickpea and spinach dish”

  1. Jane Says:

    Thank you! It sounds delicious, and also something I can probably actually cook without ruining.

  2. rickl Says:

    Can you give me a small hint as to quantities and proportions? I need specific, detailed instructions when it comes to recipes. How many tablespoons? What size can of chickpeas? What size package of spinach?

    “To taste” doesn’t help me any, since I have no idea how it’s going to taste before I cook it.

    How many servings does it make? Can I freeze the uneaten portions and microwave them later?

  3. suek Says:

    The “couple of tablespoons of tomato paste” seems to me to be the biggest problem. Although I found a tube of tomato paste that can be refrigerated after opening. That’s a good option for a less-than-6oz tomato paste requirement. Tomato products stored in cans doesn’t work well. Hmmm. Or maybe spoon it out into small 2 TBsp heaps onto aluminum foil, freeze and then store in a plastic bag so you can pull it out one “heap” at a time?

    Actually – you could probably either leave out the spinach or add some other green vegetable and still have a good something or other. Oil (or butter) plus onions plus garlic plus tomato and anything will taste yummy!

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    rickl: it’s the sort of recipe that changes every time, as the spirit moves me, and all versions have been good.

    However, since you asked, I’ll try to oblige. Know, however, that this is just one arbitrarily chosen version, and some of these quantities are guesses, because I don’t measure. “To taste” (particularly with salt) means you add a bit and then taste the mixture to see whether it’s enough.

    2 T olive oil
    approx 4 oz can chickpea (pastene or goya are about right)
    2 T tomato paste
    1/2 tsp salt
    8 oz spinach, raw

    Servings vary wildly depending on who is eating it and how big the appetite. But I’d say 3 fairly decent-sized portions, 4 small, 2 large. I’ve never frozen it so I don’t know; you could certainly try it.

  5. neo-neocon Says:

    suek: yes, the unused tomato paste always bugs me because I don’t like waste. I used to buy these tubes of tomato paste which allow you to squeeze out just the quantity you want and refrigerate the rest of the tube for a long time. However, they are quite expensive compared to a small can of tomato paste. In recent years I’ve used the small can and saved it for a while in the fridge, and then if I haven’t used the rest in fairly short order I throw it out.

  6. suek Says:

    >>However, they are quite expensive compared to a small can of tomato paste.>>

    Very true. I would normally use a can as well…but hubby has discovered the pleasures of kitchen creating in his retired years, so a tablespoon here and a tablespoon there can add up.

    I have _one_ tube. I don’t expect to use it up very fast.

  7. rickl Says:

    Thanks, neo. It sounds pretty good, and I’ll probably give it a try soon. I should eat more greens.

    Currently there’s only one recipe I use that calls for tomato paste (meatloaf), and it only calls for one tablespoon. I bought the smallest can I could find (about 5-6 oz.) and put it in a small plastic container in the refrigerator. I’ve only been making it every couple of weeks or so, and the last couple of times I opened the tomato paste container, there was a small spot of white mold on the surface. Since the paste still smelled OK, I removed the area with the mold using a spoon. The rest of it seems OK and I’ve been using it. So far I haven’t gotten sick or anything.

    If the mold was more widespread I’d discard it, of course. I’ll have to look for tomato paste in a tube. I’ve never heard of that and it seems like a sensible way to package it for use in recipes that only require a small amount.

  8. Gringo Says:

    bought the smallest can I could find (about 5-6 oz.) and put it in a small plastic container in the refrigeratorI’ve only been making it every couple of weeks or so, and the last couple of times I opened the tomato paste container, there was a small spot of white mold on the surface.

    No need to be stingy with tomato paste. It goes with everything. Even some instant pizza. On a piece of toast, sprinkle some salt and spread on 1 tsp of olive oil. Spread on tomato paste. Press a clove of garlic on it, if you like.

    Soup. Beans. Saute onions [in 1 tb oil] and add 1-2 eggs and 1 tb tomato paste when onions are soft etc. Scrambled eggs w Italian flavor. garlic and herbs to taste.

    No need to have tomato paste go moldy. It can be used many, many ways.

  9. rickl Says:

    That’s interesting, Gringo. I make a sandwich most days for work. I’ll try tomato paste in lieu of mayonnaise or mustard.

  10. Alan Says:

    Neo, a few variations on your recipe that I like:
    Neo’s recipe, include a sprig of rosemary and finish the cooking with a splash of vinegar, let it boil off to leave the flavor behind.

    Neo’s recipe, add a tsp or two of smoked paprika.

    A friend likes the “Memphis BBQ sauce” version that includes no rosemary, but add vinegar (especially cider vinegar rather than wine vinegar) and some molasses. That one doesn’t ring my chimes, but you may like it.

  11. Alan Says:

    Oh, I meant to add the “BBQ sauce” version also includes smoked paprika along with the vinegar and molasses or brown sugar. Sort of reminds me of BBQ potato chips

  12. rickl Says:

    I just got back from the grocery store and the smallest can of chickpeas they had was 16 oz, and they didn’t have tomato paste in a tube. I’ll look in other stores, or else I’ll have to find another recipe that also uses chick peas and tomato paste so I don’t waste any.

    I did try tomato paste as a sandwich spread yesterday with my bologna sandwich and it was pretty good.

  13. neo-neocon Says:

    rickl: use all the chickpeas in the 16-oz can! It doesn’t matter! It’s fine!! ARGHHH!

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.


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