I posted this recipe a few weeks ago at Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly magazine. I've probably said this about too many things to be credible (I'm aware that I lean a bit heavily on the superlative), but this is one of my absolute favorite dishes. I crave it. I devour it. And now you will too, in less than 20 minutes. Be warned, it's massively addictive... I use the breakfast sausage I buy from Blue Gentian Farm at the Minneapolis Farmers Market if I don't have chorizo; it works beautifully. (In fact, I could pretty much eat it on everything.)
I've been sauteeing pans of crispy pork with beans and greens for years. I start with a little bacon, ham, or sausage. When the pork is nicely browned, I stir in minced garlic, sometimes something spicy, and then the cooked (likely canned navy) beans and saute until they're a bit crisp on the edges. I finish with a handful of chopped cabbage or chard or spinach, whatever I have in the cooler, tossing things around a bit until the greens wilt. I might have made it for you. I always put half away before I dig in, because otherwise I'd eat the whole pan.
Mark Bittman/New York Times posted this version, Fried Chickpeas with Chorizo & Spinach, earlier in the year and of course it caught my attention. It's everything I love, with two fabulous additions - a splash of sherry and breadcrumbs to finish, drizzled with olive oil and run under the broiler until golden brown. Yes.
Fried chickpeas are a revelation, by the way, slightly crunchy outside, creamy inside. The chorizo adds beautiful color, heat, and the necessary garlic kick. The breadcrumbs are...sublime.
I warned you.
Fried Chickpeas with Chorizo & Spinach
Mark Bittman for The New York Times
Note: if you can't find stick chorizo, you can substitute spicy, garlicky ground sausage (don't tell Mark). In that case, brown the sausage first (without oil), breaking into small pieces, then add the beans, and brown as in Step 3 below. Smoked paprika, added with the beans, adds a lovely flavor and red color.
1/4 c. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 c. cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed and as dry as possible (dry on paper towels or in a salad spinner)
salt and black pepper
4 oz. chorizo, diced
1/2 lb. spinach, roughly chopped
1/4 c. sherry
1 to 2 c. fresh bread crumbs.
1. Heat the broiler.
2. Put three tablespoons of the oil in a skillet large enough to hold chickpeas in one layer over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add chickpeas and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until chickpeas begin to brown, about 10 minutes, then add chorizo. Continue cooking for another 5 to 8 minutes or until chickpeas are crisp; use a slotted spoon to remove chickpeas and chorizo from pan and set aside.
4. Add the remainder of the 1/4 cup of oil to the pan; when it’s hot, add spinach and sherry, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook spinach over medium-low heat until very soft and the liquid has evaporated. Add chickpeas and chorizo back to the pan and toss quickly to combine; top with bread crumbs, drizzle with a bit more oil and run pan under the broiler to lightly brown the top. Serve hot or at room temperature.