Spinach and Chickpea gratin with Crème fraiche and a crispy Parmesan topping

January 8, 2011

As usual I’m a little slow off the mark with the whole new year new life  detox recipes. I’ll blame it on the snow and cold weather and with more on the way I think a nice comforting bake is the way forward for the weekend. This recipe isn’t new. It’s one of the most popular on this blog but for those of you who haven’t seen it I thought it would be a good time to repost (plus it gets me off the hook on very busy week!).
It’s basically a rich gutsy tomato stew with chickpeas and spinach dotted with some lush dollops of creme fraiche then topped with Parmesan breadcrumbs. A bowl of rice – brown shortgrain, will not only add a gorgeous nuttiness to things but is so healthy that you won’t feel too guilty about postponing the detox (again).  Next week will be all about the healthy options – I promise!!!
Spinach and chickpea gratin with creme fraiche topped with crispy Parmesan breadcrumbs
You’ll need:
3 medium onions roughly chopped
Olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic roughly chopped
1/2 red chilli (with some or all of the seeds removed  depending on how hot you like things) finely chopped
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 generous teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
200gr spinach
1 tin chickpeas
3 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
2 1/2  tablespoons breadcrumbs
2/3 tub Creme Fraiche
Start by making the tomato sauce. Cook the onions in a generous glug of olive oil over a lowish heat until soft and beginning to change colour. While this is going on you can also put on your brown rice as it takes between 30 – 40 minutes although soaking it first will bring this down to about 20 minutes and makes it easier to digest.  When the onions are ready add the garlic and chilli and keep cooking until everything is nice and soft (another 5-10 minutes) then add the tomatoes and sugar. Give things a good stir then season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until everything has reduced by at least half and is a gorgeous rich, dark red. While the tomato is cooking get on with the other ingredients…

Prepare your spinach by removing any thick stalks and washing it well. Wilt it in a pot or pan. There’s no need to add any water for this as there’s enough with what is left clinging to the leaves after you wash it. When it has wilted (this will take no longer than 1-2 minutes) put it in a colander so as much water as possible can drain off. Drain the chickpeas and rinse in plenty of cold water.          

To put the dish together, add the chickpeas to the  tomato sauce then pour all this into a medium sized ovenproof dish.  Squeeze any excess water from the spinach and arrange on the tomato stew in clumps the size of small dumplings.  Dot with Crème Fraiche  then top the lot with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan.

Bake in a hottish oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

We have  beetroot this week and it’s one of the best varieties for detoxing after Christmas – try juicing it with apples and carrots and your insides (and energy levels) will thank you. There are lots more ideas in the post I did at the beginning of last year. Just follow this link http://wp.me/p7YZu-1y


4 Responses to “Spinach and Chickpea gratin with Crème fraiche and a crispy Parmesan topping”

  1. Babygirl Says:

    Well this basic rustic stew looks amazing. Good job

  2. Karen Says:

    That was delicious! We licked our plates. Thanks for the recipe

  3. […] newest PSB dish (inspired by this spinach recipe) is to make a tomatoey sauce, by frying some onions and leeks, adding some tinned […]

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