We planted spinach in our garden about two months ago and nothing much seemed to be happening for the longest time. We picked a few leaves here and there, but it was sparse. All that rain we’ve been having, maybe. But after a weekend away, we came home to find–sproing!–now the spinach is bolting (that’s when it starts to flower to make seeds)! Darn.
I decided to do what I could with the “stemmy” spinach and before work, picked a large amount. I took off most of the usable leaves, and ended up with a very large container of nice looking spinach. I looked through my favorite vegan cookbook (Isa Does It, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz) happened to see her recipe for Chana Masala and thought I could adapt it. Chana Masala is my favorite Indian dish, but it is not always served with spinach the way I like it best. Indeed Isa’s recipe did not include spinach or other greens, but being in full blown green season, I think this is an easy and delicious way to cook those CSA, garden, or farmer’s market greens!
Here is my version of the recipe:
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne (optional, and more or less to taste)
Blend spices in about 2 cups water
8-10 cups chopped spinach or other greens; cover with spicy water, and add a little more just to cover the greens if needed.
1 onion, chopped
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
Put in a crock pot on low for about 8 hours. If you don’t have a crock pot, just simmer the greens for about a hour or so.
Once the greens are cooked down and soft, add:
2 cans chickpeas, drained
1 can tomato paste
1 handful of chopped cilantro (optional)
Chili or sriracha sauce, salt and pepper to taste (or take a look at Isa’s recipe and adapt as you like)
Serve over rice and enjoy!