No surprise, I love-love-love cookbooks, especially the ones that teach, the ones that inspire movement to the kitchen now, the ones that introduce new ideas and new techniques but still KISS (you know, Keep It Simple, um, Silly). So a couple of weeks ago, a new cookbook arrived, one that is getting a lot of attention, one I was so excited to preview. But the truth is, it left me cold. Finding ingredients would require moving to New York or maybe Italy. Fish is great but really, aren't we worried about our fast-depleting fisheries? (Tastes vary. You just might just love this cookbook. But I'm not going to mention it by name because, well, I'm just not.)
But one recipe did fit my it's-winter-and-I-crave-simple-comfort-food mentality. But a few minutes in, I realized how "simple" is different than "nothing going on". On a dime, I saved supper by converting the dish from bland nothing-ness into a vegetarian version of one of my favorite dishes of all time, Shrimp with Tomatoes, Spinach & Feta.
And it was FAB-u-lous. Go make it, now.
RECIPE for CHICKPEAS with TOMATOES, SPINACH & FETA
Time to table: 45 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped in large pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 anchovy filets, optional (omit for vegetarian dish, Note to Vegetarians)
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 ounces fresh curly spinach (see TIPS), about 2 cups cut into ribbons
2 ounces feta, crumbled
Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on MEDIUM until shimmery, add onion and garlic as they're prepped, stirring to coat with oil. Let cook gently until onions begin to soften.
Stir in tomato paste, anchovies and red pepper flakes and work into mixture, cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and water and bring to a simmer. Adjust heat to maintain a slow simmer and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Stir in chickpeas and heat through. Stir in spinach and let cook for about 3 minutes, just until soft. Sprinkle feta across the center and cilantro or parsley around the edge. Let feta soften for 1 - 2 minutes, then serve immediately.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
Baby spinach is too tender for cooking, better to use "curly" spinach. It does require careful washing to remove all the grit from growing.
I like the idea of this for a hearty breakfast. Before adding the feta, scoop out four wells in the tomato mixture and slip an egg into each one. Place in a 200F oven until the eggs are almost cooked to the desired doneness. Top with feta and return to the oven for a last minute or two.
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MORE FAVORITE RECIPES for CHICKPEAS
~ Pumpkin Hummus with Honey ~
~ Hot & Sour Chickpeas ~
~ Chipotle Chickpea Salad ~
~ Quick Green Chile Stew ~
~ more recipes with dried beans, lentils & other legumes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Broccoli Rigatoni with Chickpeas & Lemon ~
~ Chickpea & Chicken Salad ~
~ Simple Hummus ~
~ more recipes with dried & canned beans ~
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