J is for…

A Jamboree of Flavours

Ok well actually this is dinner.  It’s late, I haven’t done a J, all the Js that come to mind are ones I’m no good at, like Jolly Hockey Sticks, Jumping in the Air,  Jiving and playing Jazz, so I was getting a little low thinking of all the Js that I can’t do and that’s not really the point is it? But then I was saved by the most delicious smells wafting up the stairs and my beloved has cooked for us (again).

So here is Brian’s best vegetarian dish ever. it’s the only one he makes and he does it beautifully.

It packs all the food groups in, protein from the chickpeas, low Gi carbs from the butternut squash, anti-oxidants from the spinach, vitamins and goodness from the green herbs, coriander and mint, Vitamin C from the lemon, the magic powers of fresh garlic, a liitle fermented dairy in the shape of yoghurt, cold pressed rapeseed oil, do I sound convincing?

Actually forget all that, just jump in!

Adapted from Ottolenghi’s recipe originally published in the Guardian for butternut squash sautée. I have both Ottolenghi books and wholeheartedly recommend them for inspired cooking and wonderful recipes.

Use tinned chickpeas for speed if you decide to make this the same day, but otherwise soak them overnight.

  • 250 g dried chickpeas
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 1 medium onion. peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp whole cumin seeds (or ground if you prefer)
  • A big handful of Spinach or Chard leaves approx 300 grams – chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon in the main dish plus another whole lemon’s worth of juice in the dressing
  • Coriander leaves to garnish
  • Salt and pepper
  • 500 g of Butternut squash peeled, cut into one inch cubes or chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Yummy Yoghurt  Dressing

  • 100 g yoghurt
  • a large clove of garlic, peeled and chopped finely
  • Juice of a medium sized lemon
  • 3 tbsp of cold pressed organic rapeseed oil ( original recipe has EVOO)
  • a tbsp of fresh mint leaves chopped fairly finely
  • Salt and pepper to taste

It’s a bit of an assembly dish and we rewrote the recipe to make it easier to follow so I hope you can follow it if you try to make it. Do let me know if it is unclear.

  • Drain and rinse the soaked chickpeas. Cover with water in a large pan and bring them to the boil. Simmer until tender but still retaining their shape. This can take anything up to ninety minutes depending on how old they are.  You can cook them earlier in the day if it makes it more manageable. Cook more and make some hummus too!
  • While this is happening prepare the squash pieces, coat them in olive oil and season with salt and pepper, into a roasting dish and a hot oven at 200 C for about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile place the onion, caraway seeds, sugar, and cumin in a pan in which you have heated up some olive oil and fry, stirring as you go for about 8 minutes, until the onion is soft and golden.
  • Stir in the chopped up spinach, the cooked squash and the chickpeas and about half a cup of water. Mix together and cook until the spinach has wilted and there is no water left.
  • Add lemon juice and season according to taste.
  • To make the most delicious and garliccy dressing
  • Mix all the ingredients above using a whisk.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the dish and
  • Just Eat!

You don’t need anything on the side with this dish, it is very filling and I could eat it every week. It puts my tummy in a very happy mood!

The Alphabet in August has a blog roll of lovely bloggers who can be found here on Chiot’s Run.

I’ve just been visiting The Compost Bin. I’m trying to visit everyone on the blogroll, hope to get round and meet them all.

20 thoughts on “J is for…

  1. heidi

    I’m putting the garbanzo beans (chickpeas) to soak right now- this is supper tomorrow- for after the Yard Sale ! I promised my son and husband I would clean out the basement and garage of unwanted items- so it is on for tomorrow and Saturday.
    (How do you convince Brian to cook?)

    1. Joanna Post author

      A Yard Sale, I’ve never done one of those. Though I did manage to sell the doggy agility seesaw to a Dog Club this week and suddenly I can get around in the garage once more.

      Brian likes cooking, he learnt from his Gran who was a housekeeper in a doctor’s house. He teaches me lots and doesn’t need convincing. He’s taught me how to make pastry, though I’m still not very good at it.

  2. Choclette

    Sounds so delicious – first thing in the morning and I’m now starving. We don’t have spinach or butternut squash, but we do have plenty of beetroot leaves, swiss chard and courgettes, so I’m not having too series a think about supper this evening. And what about J for Jam – surely it must be about time for your plum gathering? Or maybe I’ve missed it – better go and check!

    1. Joanna Post author

      You could sub any leaves for the spinach, the original recipe uses chard. We used that spinach that is called universal spinach, it is a bit chard like anyway, I am not sure where spinach ends and chard begins, and I’m sure you could use courgettes, though the finished dish wouldn’t be as sweet.

      Spookily jamming is happening, I have apricots macerating in the kitchen and my neighbour has just offered me a plum tree to pick, I’m going to pop in this morning..

  3. Jacqueline

    J is for Jacqueline! And also for jam :), which I’ve made plenty of recently ‘cos of all these Canadian berries for stupidly cheap prices. I love the flavour jamboree though. Will definitely be on my menu this weekend! Thank you for posting it. Cheers, J.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hi J for Jacqueline! Jamming in Canada, wonderful! Have you got a favourite flavour combination? I am limited mostly to making jam with stone fruits as B is allergic to most berries. I only make blackberry jelly with the ones I forage as I can’t resist them. They are ready for picking now, but I haven’t quite got round to it yet.

      Hope you like the chickpea dish. It’s lovely! :)

  4. Nip it in the bud

    that looks jolly good :o)
    I know they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but I’m sure the same could hold true for a woman courted with food by her wonderful man.

    1. Joanna Post author

      He took me to a Little Chef for tea and cake when we first met. We lived it up in those days ;)

  5. emilysincerely

    Just a jamboree of Justifiably juicy flavors. j-YUM all the way.I soak and cook an ton of chick peas at once and freeze them in bags of 2cups each. That way I always have them semi-ready (same with black beans) . The combo of spinach, chickpea and butternut squash – wow then add the dressing – yumx2

    1. Joanna Post author

      I must try that! My freezer gets so full of bread that sometimes it’s hard to find space but that’s a great tip thanks Emily :)

  6. heidi

    Mmm! I made a variation for lunch= chick peas, onion,spinach,courgettes, bacon, and curry sauce on top! Delicious. Thanks for the idea- my tummy and taste buds thank you exceedingly much!

  7. Pingback: Chickpeas and courgettes-AKA- yesterdays lunch - Steps On the Journey

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