Chick Peas and Spinach With Lemon
A Vegetable Dish From Pantry Ingredients
- Servings: 4.
This recipe is based upon a similar dish that Marcella Hazan adapted from a favorite cookbook of recipes from the cuisine of Italian Jews.
I love it not only for its healthy and flavorful combination of spinach, chick peas and fresh lemon juice, but also because it's quick to cook with ingredients in your pantry -- especially if we think about our pantries as including our refrigerators and freezers. By keeping cans of chick peas, boxes of frozen spinach and lemons always on hand, this dish can be made in not much more time than it takes to defrost the spinach in the microwave. If you transfer 2 boxes of frozen spinach to the refrigerator or the kitchen sink before you leave for work in the morning, they will be defrosted by the time you get home, making this dish even quicker to make.
While most vegetables taste better fresh than frozen, spinach can be an exception since it's washed and flash-frozen right after it's picked. A 10 oz. box of whole leaf frozen spinach is the equivalent of about a pound and a half of fresh spinach. I buy whatever brand is the cheapest or is on sale, but make sure you're buying only spinach -- without any added butter or sauce.
Of course you can substitute fresh spinach for the frozen in this recipe. If you do, buy at least 3 pounds of spinach, wash it very carefully several times to rid it of any sand, and cook or microwave it in a covered pot with only the water that clings to the spinach until the leaves are limp. Drain completely before proceeding with the recipe as it's written.
- 2 10 oz. boxes of frozen spinach, whole leaf (not chopped) or 3 pounds fresh spinach, cooked and well drained
- 1 14 oz. can chick peas
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Defrost the frozen spinach by removing it from its packaging and placing in a fine mesh colander or sieve. Leave at room temperature or run under warm water until completely defrosted. Use your hands to completely wring out any water. If you're using fresh spinach, steam it until tender and drain it completely, using your hands to gently squeeze out any excess water.
- Rinse the chick peas and let drain.
- In a medium sauce pan, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, spinach and chick peas. Use a fork to distribute the spinach with the chick peas. Season with a pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper.
- Cook over a medium low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything is heated through and flavors have begun to combine.
- Serve immediately.