Friday, April 23, 2010

Balsamic Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens

So I made this a few weeks ago, but I felt like posting tonight.  This is a light vegetarian dinner.  The kind that I would eat in summer when my appetite is small or if I ate a big, unhealthy lunch.  I had mustard greens (as it turned out they were actually collard greens, but same concept) so I needed something to do with them.  I found this recipe on Fat Free Vegan, however I made it not fat free.  I think she should be more concerned with the ridiculous amount of sodium in this recipe than adding a little extra fat.  She recommended cooking everything in vegetable stock.  I used olive oil instead.  A little oleic acid and monounsaturated fats never hurt anyone, but stock and soy sauce (plus extra salt) might have.  I'll give you my version, not hers, since that's what this blog is, right?  In other news I made orzo with chickpeas, tomatoes and fresh herbs and a little feta for dinner tonight.  It was good, but I think I tried too hard to have fun with herbs and should have just stuck to one (probably would have gone with the lemon balm, which I had never heard of or how to use, but I tried a piece and it tasted fresh and lemony, so I decided to add it and something else that was too bitter).

But I thought this was a great recipe.  I'm a big fan of chickpeas, garlicy greens, and warm balsamic vinegar with my veggies.  It was salty, spicy, vinegary, garlicy, basically full of flavor.  Yum.  Anyway, here we go.

Balsamic Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens
Serves 2

10 oz mustard greens
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped (this might be what attracted me to the recipe)
1 (large) pinch red pepper flakes (i.e. crushed red pepper)
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 soy sauce (I use the lower sodium kind)
1/4 tsp sugar (I may have forgotten this, also the recipe also suggests agave nectar, honey would probably also work, but isn't vegan)
1 c cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Remove large stems from the greens and discard.  Tear leaves into bite-sized pieces.

In deep pot or wok, saute the onion in the oil until mostly faded to pink, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes and a little more oil or some water, stirring, for another minute.  Add greens, a tablespoon or two of oil, and cook, stirring, until greens are wilted but still bright green, about 3-5 minutes. Remove greens and onions from the pan with a slotted spoon and place in the serving dish, leaving any liquid in the pan.

Add vinegar, soy sauce and sugar to the liquid in the pan (if there is none, add a little water or vegetable stock).  Add the chickpeas and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by about half. Spoon the chickpeas over the greens and drizzle the sauce all over.

Serve warm with additional balsamic vinegar.  A crusty baguette would probably go well (and you could dip it in the vinegar).

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