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A simple combination of ingredients and textures which works every time, writes Alison Lambert.
This is great eaten with a piece of grilled bread but also works as an accompaniment to any number of dishes.
Braised chickpeas and spinach
300g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
750g spinach, well washed and tough stalks removed
¼ cup olive oil
1 onion, sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ tsp cumin seeds
2 spring onions, sliced thinly
1 Tbsp fresh fennel or dill leaves, roughly chopped
salt and cracked pepper
1 lemon to serve
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Put into a large pot and cover with plenty of cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce and simmer until tender (45-60 minutes).
Leave to cool in cooking liquor.
Wash the spinach and discard any tough stems or discoloured leaves. Chop roughly.
In a medium to large saucepan, heat the oil over a moderate heat. Add the onion and garlic and gently cook until translucent and soft (5 minutes).
Add the cumin seeds, and cook for 1 minute.
Add the cooked chickpeas and stir well to coat in the onion mixture.
Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of the chickpea cooking liquor. Cook for 10 minutes.
Add the spring onions, chopped fennel/dill leaves and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. The chickpeas and spinach should be moist, but not soggy.
If dry, add a little more chickpea liquor. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Serve with wedges of lemon.