Here’s an easy recipe for you that is perfect for vegetarians and vegans (not that you will feel in the slightest bit deprived if you are a meat eater).
I’ve been playing around with vegan recipes a bit over the past few weeks and this recipe (in a slightly different form), was given to me by English friends Nettie and David. I’ve fiddled around with it a bit and made a few changes including the addition of cumin. It makes a lovely lunch served with baby new potatoes and some slow roasted tomatoes.
You will need:
- 250g plain flour
- 2 tbs olive oil
- water to bind
- Fresh spinach (around half a kilo) or you can use frozen spinach too
- 1 can of chickpeas
- One large onion finely chopped
- Couple of cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- Olive oil
- The rind of a lemon and some lemon juice
- A teaspoon of ground cumin
- Salt & pepper
First of all make your pastry. Put the flour in a bowl, add the olive oil and use cold water to bring together to a softish dough. Put in the fridge to rest while you make the filling.
Rinse the spinach and put it in a colander – pour a kettle of boiling water over it to wilt it, rinse with cold water, squeeze out the excess and put to one side. In a frying pan, add a little olive oil, fry the chopped onion until translucent and then add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the cooked onion and garlic to the wilted spinach, add the chickpeas (crush some and leave some whole), lemon rind, ground cumin, salt, pepper and a good lug of olive oil. Taste and adjust your seasoning if necessary.
Roll out your olive oil pastry into a large circle (get it as thin as you can). Put the filling on one half, fold over the pastry, damp the edge and crimp it around as you would for a Cornish pasty. Place on a baking tray, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and then – wait for it – flood, yes flood the tray with olive oil. Don’t be frightened to add quite a lot. As the pasty cooks it absorbs the oil. The quality of the oil you use will make a difference here. Very cheap oil can be bitter and you will taste it so use a decent one if you can as it makes all the difference.
Serve warm or at room temperature, with wedges of lemon to squeeze over.