English spinach is packed with goodness, cooks in a flash and is an inexpensive vegetable, available all year round. Here we've paired the dark and leafy ingredient with spiced chickpeas and tomato and mint-infused burghul (also known as bulgur). This is a great go-to recipe for time-poor vegetarians wanting to eat exceptionally well.
- 100 g fine burghul (bulgur; see Note)
- 200 g (2 small) tomatoes
- 3 tsp dried mint
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp currants
- 2 tsp hot paprika
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 400 g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 bunch English spinach, washed, drained and roughly shredded
- juice and finely grated rind of 1 lemon
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time 15 minutes
Combine the burghul and 200 ml hot water in a bowl. Stir to combine, cover and set aside for 10–15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.
Place the tomato and dried mint in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth (alternatively, finely chop both by hand). Add the tomato puree to the burghul and season to taste. Mix to combine and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and currants and continue to cook until the pine nuts are light golden, 2–3 minutes. Add the paprika, cumin and chickpeas and toss for 1 minute until well coated. Season, add the spinach and cook for 2–3 minutes until wilted. Remove from the heat and pour 2 tablespoons lemon juice over the spinach and stir to combine. Check the seasoning, adding more lemon juice if necessary.
Divide burghul between plates. Spoon over the spinach and chick peas and top with lemon rind. Serve warm or at room temperature.
• Burghul, also known as bulgur, is available from Middle Eastern food stores, continental delis and in the health food section of some supermarkets.
Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Rachel Lane. Creative concept by Lou Fay.