April is turning out to be colder than March, in one of those weird early spring Ohio twists. I actually had hot chocolate before bed twice this past weekend, and Sammy’s soccer practice tonight was out and out freezing. Alex has a cold and my throat has hurt intermittently for the last week. John is in Barcelona which somehow makes the weather even more irritating. When I fell in love with a computer scientist I had no idea that it would mean sitting home while he jetted around the world for conferences (and yes we would both love it if I could go but the plane tickets are prohibitively expensive). Aren’t most conferences supposed to be in relatively un-exotic places like Orlando and Phoenix?
There isn’t much good about this kind of weather in April, but legumes are one thing. And I know from previous comments that not everyone feels like bean dishes are for cold weather, but to me they are. Of course I love them so much that I eat them year round, but I don’t really look forward to them simmering away all day long when it is sweltering hot outside.
Despite everything I just said, this actual dish was made with beans I had made and frozen previously–which is why the beans look a little mushy. They still tasted great and I highly recommend making and freezing beans like this. The beans themselves were Cannelini, chickpeas, and some kind of runner bean, I don’t remember which. I love mixing chickpeas with other beans.
- 4 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 t cumin seeds
- 1 large/2 medium red onions, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- pinch of coarse aleppo, to taste
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cans worth beans--chickpeas and runners, preferably (4 cups cooked)
- pinch of sumac
- 3 cups chopped spinach
- fresh lemon juice, to taste
- For the dressing:
- 1 cup 2% Greek yogurt
- 10 re-hydrated sun-dried tomatoes (I use oil packed and rinse them in hot water first)
- 1-2 T chopped fresh dill, to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 T water, to move blender blades
- pinch za'atar
- extra virgin olive oil (Greek), to taste/consistency
- Heat the oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick or seasoned cast iron. Add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring, until golden and fragrant (30 seconds or so). Add the chopped red onion with a pinch of salt. Cook until caramelized, 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the aleppo and garlic and cook another minute.
- Add the beans (drained and rinsed if using canned). Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add a tablespoon or 2 of water if the beans are sticking or scorching. Turn the heat off or extremely low while you make the dressing.
- Place all of the dressing ingredients except the olive oil into a blender. Add enough oil to make the blades run--and then also to achieve the consistency you prefer. Taste for salt and pepper.
- When the dressing is ready, turn the heat back up on the pan and toss in the spinach. Let it cook 1 minute and then take it off the heat (if you like your greens more cooked, leave it on longer). Taste for salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with sumac and lemon juice to taste, and drizzled with the Sun-Dried Tomato and Yogurt Dressing.