Monday, November 19, 2012

Chickpeas And Spinach With Honeyed Sweet Potato

ottolenghi chickpea sweet potato stew

My obsession with the recipes of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi began in the Spring of 2011.  A friend hosted a dinner party and had cooked that evening exclusively from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook. It was one of the best meals I have ever had. Another friend who had attended the party and knows how much I love to cook, surprised me with my own copy of this must-have cookbook shortly thereafter.

This is the first dish I made from the cookbook and it stands as one of my favorites. {Yet everything I have prepared from Ottolenghi has been amazing}.

Ottolenghi and Tamimi's creations are rooted in freshness, vibrancy and simplicity. Their partnership and collaboration produce a mash-mash of European and Middle Eastern influences yet the food tends to be light and modern. If you don't know their history...Yotam, who is Jewish, grew up in Western Jerusalem and Sami, who is Palestinian, in the Eastern old city of Jerusalem. They both shared a love of food as children, yet followed different paths as young adults. Yotaum, who grew up on creations by his Italian and German grandmothers, did not enter the food world until age 30. Sami, raised on Middle Eastern cuisine, got his first job in the kitchen at age 15 in Jerusalem. They met in London where they remain, overseeing several successful eateries.

And here is an interesting side note.  I made this dish again for a dinner party and one of my friends, who had just returned from a vacation in London, said:  this reminds so much of the food that they serve at this fabulous restaurant in London owned by Yotam Ottolenghi".  Ha!

Chickpeas And Spinach With Honeyed Sweet Potato

200 grams of dried chickpeas, prepared (or 1 16 oz can rinsed and drained)
2 T olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 t cumin seeds
1 t coriander seeds (if you cannot find, substitute ground coriander)
1 T tomato puree
400 grams canned chopped tomatoes (14 oz)
1 t sugar
1/2 t ground cumin
100 grams fresh baby spinach leaves (3.5 oz)
10 grams fresh cilantro leaves for garnish (about 1/4 cup)
salt and pepper, to taste

Honeyed Sweet Potato
500 grams sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" thick slices (17.6 oz)
700 ml water (a generous 2 cups)
50 grams of unsalted butter (3.5 T)
4 T honey
1/2 t salt

Yogurt Sauce
100 g Greek yogurt (about 7 T)
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
3 T olive oil
1 t dried mint (I prefer 1 T fresh chopped mint)
salt and pepper, to taste

Prepare the sweet potatoes
Place all sweet potato ingredients in a wide saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer low until potatoes are tender and most of the liquid has cooked away.  About 35 minutes.

Prepare the yogurt sauce
Whisk together all sauce ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Prepare the stew
In a large skillet or saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onions, cumin seeds and coriander seeds. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring, until golden brown. Add the tomato puree and cook for 1 minute while stirring. Add the tomatoes, sugar and ground cumin.  Continue to cook for 5 more minutes.  Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the spinach and chickpeas. Cook for 5 more minutes.

To serve
Spoon stew into bowls, gently arrange sweet potatoes and their remaining liquid on top.  Spoon the yogurt sauce on top.  Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Serves 6-8 (or 3, in my opinion).

post signature
Source:  Ottolenghi

1 comment:

  1. Just made yummy, just like everything by Ottolenghi!


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