My mother often made a delicious chickpea salad to serve with other tasty cold dishes. Once a week she would make a cold plates only dinner with a variety of wonderful salads. For me this brings back flavors of memories.
The chickpea is important in the Middle Eastern Cuisine. It is the key ingredient of hummus. Ground into crumbs it is what falafel is made of. There are so many creative dishes that can be made out of chickpeas.
In Israel we use chickpeas in salads, humus, falafel, stews and soups. In fact in Israel chickpeas are known simply as hummus! It is also known in other countries by the Spanish name of garbanzo beans.
The best thing about chickpeas is that you can make hot or cold dishes out of them!
I must admit that some of my chickpea recipes are created just as I cook them. If I don't write them down while I prepare the dish I wouldn't remember how I made it the very next day.
This recipe has gotten so much attention that I decided to add it to my blog, and it requires very few main ingredients!
All spices can be adjusted to taste
250 grams dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked for an our first or 15oz can of chickpeas. (If using canned chickpeas make sure they are completely drained of any liquid and patted dry)
1 box of fresh uncooked, washed and dried baby spinach leaves
2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
2-3 cloves garlic - chopped
Heat oil in a pan. Add all spices and mix to open up the flavors. Add chopped garlic and mix for a few seconds being careful not to burn it. It cooks very fast.
Add the chickpeas and toss it with the spices. Cook for about 10 minutes mixing frequently until the chickpeas start to brown a little and all the oil is absorbed. It should look on the dry side but getting a bit of a golden brown color on one side of the chickpea.
Add all the spinach, it will at first look like a lot of spinach but it cooks fast and shrivels to a very small amount when it is done. Mix all spice and spinach well with a wooden spoon and cook fo about 10 minutes. If you feel it is a little too dry add a little water to the bottom of the pan, mix and cook for another 2 minutes.
That is all there is to this quick recipe. I sometimes vary this dish with just some pine nuts and parsley. (heat the pine nuts stove top in a dry pan first a couple of minutes to stove-top roast them) or I add green beans instead of spinach. You can use any veggies up from your fridge and mix them with the same chickpea mix.
Enjoy as a side dish or vegan main dinner with rice! Or serve cold the next day as a side salad!