In early April, we met up with a good friend in Columbus, Ohio and had a fantastic meal at Barcelona. One of the highlights of the tapas tasting menu was a spinach, chickpea and red onion dish. When I saw a recipe for Syrian Spinach and Lentils on quête saveur, I knew I was close, although the restaurant had clearly used fresh spinach.
I go on the record again as saying that you don’t change a recipe the first time you try it (and if you do, you do not have the right to complain) – but I did make small adjustments. I didn’t have any lentils and I was in a hurry to try to recreate the chickpea experience at Barcelona. Also, to get closer to the Barcelona taste, I increased the cumin by 50% to 1 1/2 teaspoons. I also confess that I added a pat of butter to the oil, again, because there was a certain richness to the flavor we experienced at the restaurant, but this wasn’t strictly necessary and I’ve left the butter out of the final ingredients list.
- 1 16 oz frozen leaf spinach
- 1 medium-size red onion, peeled
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil (or optional combination butter and oil)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
I used red onion, instead of white or yellow.
Instead of adding the lentils near the start of the recipe, I sauteed the onion and garlic with the cumin and then added the spinach.
Once I had that going well, I added the chickpeas.
It wasn’t the same as the restaurant, of course, but as my husband likes to say, “It were good.”