Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Ham, chickpeas and kale

Here is a recipe for a simple, quick and delicious supper. It relies on a tried and tested combo of three main ingredients:- some sort of bean or pulse, some form of cured pig and something green and leafy. In this case it's cured spanish pork shoulder, chickpeas and kale, but there are loads of possible variations on the theme. Think of boiled gammon, split peas and cabbage, or maybe ham, lentils and spinach.

You will need:
olive oil
one medium-sized onion
2 fat cloves of garlic
2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes
a tin of chickpeas
50g of cured ham (I used paleta ibérico - cured pork shoulder from Spanish Ibérico pigs)
a pinch of dried chilli flakes
half a cup of boiling water
a handful of kale
salt and pepper
a lemon

This will serve one greedy person as a one dish meal, or two people with plenty of crusty bread and a pudding to follow.

What to do:
1. Roughly chop the onion and sweat it in olive oil for five minutes or so without browning.
2. Finely chop the garlic, add it to the pan and fry for another minute or two.
3. Roughly chop the tomatoes, add them to the pan and fry for another minute or two.
4. Drain the chick peas and add them to the pan with the pinch of chilli.
5. Roughly chop the ham, add it to the pan and fry for another minute or two.
5. Add the water to the pan, stir and bring to a simmer.
6. Add the handful of kale and simmer for a few minutes until the kale has softened.
7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
8. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil and plenty of crusty bread to mop up the juices.

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