This is one of my favorite recipes. It was published on The New York Times’ “Recipes for Health” back in 2009 and remains one of my go-to, all-in-one meals. It’s vegan and can be made gluten-free, but robust enough if you add grains or bread that even meat-eaters will be satisfied.

Chickpeas With Baby Spinach

This is mostly a pantry dish, very quick to put together. You can serve it on its own, with couscous or pasta, or over a thick slice of toasted bread rubbed with garlic.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground
  • Salt, preferably kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock, or water
  • Cayenne to taste
  • 1 6-oz. bag baby spinach
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, tomato paste and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring for one to two minutes, until fragrant and the tomato paste has turned a darker color. Add the chickpeas, the stock or water, and the cayenne, and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the spinach, a handful at a time, stirring until each addition of spinach wilts. Add salt to taste and simmer uncovered, stirring often, for five minutes. Add lots of freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust salt and cayenne, and serve.

Note: Another way to make this dish is to blanch the spinach separately in salted boiling water for 10 to 20 seconds. Transfer to a bowl of ice water, drain and squeeze dry. Add to the chickpeas as in step 2, but stir together for only two to three minutes.

Advance preparation: This can be made up to a day ahead and refrigerated, but when you reheat you’ll want to add a little more liquid. It can sit on top of the stove for a few hours.

Serve 3 and enjoy!