Sabzi is the Persian word that refers to greens and herbs, ingredients typical to this Middle Eastern cuisine. Spinach with black-eyed peas, embellished with leeks and herbs, is a wonderful way to enjoy this region’s typical ingredients.
The vigorous herbal flavors of this dish — plenty of parsley and scallions — combined with sweet spices, create a welcome wake-up call to winter-weary taste buds in early spring. That said, this dish can be served all year round.
Though spinach is the star of this recipe, it’s worth giving a shout-out out leeks, which have a supporting role, as they’re a rather underused ingredient.
Common leeks are related to both garlic and onions, and have a sweeter and more subtler flavor than their lily-family cousins. When cooked, they have a lovely, silky consistency. Learn more in this site’s Guide to Leeks.
Complete the meal: This dish is customarily served over rice, but you can also serve over couscous for nice textural balance. Serve the meal with warm pita bread and some diced tomatoes and cucumbers dressed in olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh dill.
Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
Persian-Style Spinach with Black-Eyed Peas and Herbs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped leek (white part only), rings separated, very well rinsed
- Two 5-ounce packages baby spinach
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 4 scallions, sliced
- 3 to 3 ½ cups cooked or two 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
- Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Hot cooked rice or couscous
- Plain vegan yogurt for topping, optional
- Heat the oil in an extra-large skillet or a steep-sided stir-fry pan. Add the leek and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes, or until limp and tender.
- Add the spinach, parsley, scallions, and 1/4 cup water. Cover and steam just until the spinach starts to wilt, so you have more room in the pan.
- Stir in the black-eyed peas, lemon juice, and spices. Cook until just heated through, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over hot grains, topping each serving with a small amount of vegan yogurt, if desired.
If you like black-eyed peas, you may also enjoy …
Vegan Hoppin’ John (Black-Eyed Peas and Rice)
Here are lots more vegan main dish recipes to explore.
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