Quick Lemony Chickpeas & Spinach
This delicious Greek chickpea recipe with spinach epitomizes the simple way that healthy, plant-based Mediterranean ingredients come together in the Greek and Mediterranean diet. Chickpeas are one of the oldest cultivated legumes in the Eastern Mediterranean and Greeks have been enjoying them for eons. You can easily swap out the spinach for something more exotic, like chard or sorrel. By adding lemon juice to this dish, you’re actually helping your body absorb the iron in the greens more easily. This is an easy and wonderful way to treat yourself to a Mediterranean vegetarian and/or Mediterranean vegan meal that’s quick to make and enjoyable to eat. Try serving it with Greek feta if you want to add a little extra tang to this lemony casserole.
- 1 pound fresh spinach
- 1/3 cup extra virgin Greek olive oil plus more for drizzling over finished dish
- 1 large yellow or red onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1- inch knob of ginger peeled and either grated or minced
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 16-ounce can of good quality, low-sodium chickpeas
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Strained juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Sea salt to taste
Trim the spinach: Cut off tough stems and coarsely chop the leaves. Wash the fresh spinach by submerging it in a large basin of cold water and then either draining very well or spinning dry in batches in a salad spinner.
Heat the olive oil in a wide pot and cook the onions until wilted and starting to turn lightly brown, about 10 – 12 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and ginger and cook for a minute, stirring. Stir in the cumin and give it a swirl or two to bring out its aromas.
Add the spinach, in batches if necessary. As soon as it wilts, add the drained chickpeas. Cook all together for about 5 – 7 minutes, until warmed through. Season with salt and lemon juice and stir in the lemon zest.
Serve with additional extra virgin Greek olive oil drizzled over the top.