Monday, July 22, 2013

Braised Coconut Spinach with Chickpeas and Lemon

Y'all, this dish is totally delightful. We were having J & J & G over for dinner and since one of the Js is vegetarian, I was digging through my collection of recipes that I save to make "some day in the future" and saw this. Holy cow, it was so great that I'm really thankful J is vegetarian - otherwise who knows how much longer this would have languished in my files. This is super hearty, rich, and full of flavor - and also very easy. Leftovers are possibly even better, especially if you let the rice soak up all the wonderful sauce. Definitely make sure you have toasted coconut to garnish, it makes the dish.

Braised Coconut Spinach with Chickpeas and Lemon
Adapted from Serious Eats
Serves 6


2 teaspoons oil or ghee
1 small yellow onion
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger, from a 3-inch piece
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 large lemon, zested and juiced (about 2 tablespoons juice)
1 dried hot red pepper or dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
2 cups dried chickpeas, cooked, or equivalent in canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
240g baby spinach (one large bag)
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Cilantro leaves, to garnish
Toasted unsweetened coconut, to garnish
Cooked rice, for serving


In a large, heavy pot (such as a Dutch oven), heat the oil or ghee over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until soft and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, grated ginger, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest, and red pepper, if using. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, 1-2 minutes.

Add the chickpeas and increase the heat to high. Cook until the chickpeas are beginning to turn golden, 3-4 minutes. Stir often to prevent burning.

Add the spinach to the pot (you may have to add it in batches until there's enough room), then add the lemon juice, coconut milk, salt, and ground ginger. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the spinach is very soft and the chickpeas are tender, 10-15 minutes. Season to taste with more salt and lemon juice as needed.

Serve garnished with cilantro and toasted coconut with rice.

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