I grew my own spinach last year, but it is currently a slimy frozen mess at the bottom of the allotment, so this lot is out of a bag... I got the allotment last year and actually managed to grow quite a few things, including about a million courgettes. It was still a bit of a mess though and this year I plan to be really organised, grow loads, and turn half of it into a little garden for BBQs and outdoor summer wine drinking.
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 onion diced
1 carrot diced
1 stick of celery diced
2 bay leaves – fresh if possible
2 sprigs of thyme
2 cloves garlic chopped
½ - 1 tsp Spanish hot smoked paprika – depending on how hot it is
400g chickpeas drained
150ml tap water
180g pancetta/ lardons
Cook the onion in the olive oil with a pinch of salt until soft and sweet, about 8 minutes. Add the diced carrot and celery, bay leaves and thyme, stir and cook until softened, about 10 mins, season with salt and pepper. Brown the bacon in a separate pan, until turning crispy and brown around the edges. Add the bacon, paprika and garlic to the carrot mix after the 10 minutes.
This is the paprika I use... It is really smoky and hot and delicious. I don't know where I got it from which isn't much help, sorry...
Now leave to cook until really golden and soft and sticky, another 10/15 minutes. When the mix has turned caramelly and sweet add the drained chickpeas and water, leave to heat through for 5 minutes. Then add the spinach and stir through until wilted...
Serve with a warmed pitta, or a homemade flour tortilla, perhaps a dollop of plain yoghurt or sweet cumin yoghurt. You can add 200g of diced chestnuts at the same time as the bacon and paprika if you want, this turns the dish into a sweeter and thicker stew. Both are really good...
Perhaps later this year I will have grown my own carrots, onions, celery, spinach and garlic... I don't know how chickpeas grow, so will have to look into that one, it is perhaps a little cold in Newcastle I suspect. I planted some carrot seeds last year, quite a few of them, but not one ever appeared, so I may need to work on my skills somewhat...