This is a recipe inspired by Deborah Madison’s “Chickpeans and Greens with Moroccan Spices” from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I have made a few tweaks over the years, primarily in procedure, primarily because I am too lazy to make a paste from all the spices before I begin, and sometimes I don’t have all the ingredients in the house. I have made this recipe with all sorts of greens–kale, chard, spinach, and now beets, and anything will work. The flavors are so delicious that they will welcome any green to the party. After eating about half of my bowl, I added a dollop of leftover Coconut Sauce from this recipe. It made it even better.
I will caution you to make sure the greens are clean. I thought I did a great job of washing these greens, but we still had just a couple gritty bites. Guess I need to do better next time.
2 cups couscous
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, diced into 1/2 inch squares
1 garlic scape, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 large bunch of beet greens, stems removed (I was careful to cut out stems because John and I noticed they were pretty bitter in the quesadillas)
3 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 15 oz. cans, rinsed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or about 30 turns on a medium-sized grinder)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika (I used smoked)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced (or 1 can, if you choose) (I didn’t peel my tomatoes because I always forget about those weird tomato skins you get if you don’t)
1. Make the couscous. Boil 2 cups water, pour over couscous. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. I also tossed mine with a bit of olive oil and salt to taste, but if you’re watching calories, you could skip this.
2. Heat the olive oil in a big skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, pepper, garlic scape, thyme, and red pepper. Saute for 5-7 minutes or until the onion starts to soften. Add the spices, chickpeas, and 1/2 a cup of water and continue to simmer. When the onions are soft, add the tomatoes and greens. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to do this in two batches. Add another 1/2 cup of water. Cover the pan. Stir occasionally, cooking until the greens are wilted to desired taste and texture. Add the cilantro and taste for salt.
3. Place desired amount of couscous in bowls and spoon chickpeas over the top. If you have it, add a dollop of aforementioned coconut sauce. Enjoy!