Photo by: Richard Learoyd

Chickpeas and spinach with honeyed sweet potato

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200g dried chickpeas
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp tomato purée
400g Italian tinned tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp caster sugar
1½ tsp ground cumin
100g baby spinach leaves
10g coriander leaves, to garnish
salt and black pepper

Honeyed sweet potato:
500g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into slices 2.5cm thick
700ml water
50g unsalted butter
4 tbsp honey
½ tsp salt

Yoghurt sauce:
100g Greek yoghurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried mint

Don’t be put off by what may seem like a carbohydrate overkill. The soft, warm sweet potato almost melts over the chickpeas, while the yoghurt sauce lightens them with its velvety smoothness. The result is an extremely satisfying vegetarian main course. In her book, Amaretto, Apple Cake and Artichokes (Vintage, 2006), Anna Del Conte suggests adding a paste of bicarbonate of soda, flour and salt to chickpeas when soaking them, in order to soften very hard
skins. (We can’t recommend this book enough for the most thorough introduction to Italian ingredients and methods.) In most cases bicarbonate of soda alone does the trick. No matter what you do, you will need to soak chickpeas for at least 12 hours and up to 24 before cooking them.

Serves 6-8

(p 82, The Ottolenghi cookbook)


The method for this recipe is available in the book Ottolenghi, The Cookbook, available to buy here.
Ottolenghi, The Cookbook |

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