Most my recipes are developed during lunchtime. I wish I could say I always plan ahead and have something whipped up ready to eat but that's not the case. The norm is that by 11am I'm closing my eyes, envisioning what ingredients are in my fridge, what beans or meat I have ready to use and what I may be craving.
This particular lunch was meant to feed my craving for playing around with a new ingredient: Zahatar. A Middle Eastern seasoning made up of dried herbs, sumac, sesame seeds, salt and other spices that my sister sent over to me from Israel.
As I thought of what I might make, I pictured her in her Tel Aviv kitchen, gathering ingredients with Hebrew labels. I recalled Skype chats where she shared her new-found obsession with Israeli dairy and anecdotes of her toddlers' love for hummus. I also knew I had loads of La Nay Ferme spinach in my fridge. Then it came together.
I would make a play on hummus. Not something smooth and creamy in texture but rather taste. I'd make a spread loaded with spinach...the entire plentiful bag of spinach and my favorite bean: the chickpea. Add in the brightness of fresh lemon juice, the punch of garlic and some creaminess of sour cream and I had the filling of a delicious pita bread sandwich. A lunch that fullfilled my craving for creativity, hunger and a longing to feel closer to my sister who was 6,000 miles away.
Spinach & Chickpea Spread with Zahatar Seasoning
6-10 oz. spinach
1 TB. garlic cloves, sliced
1 TB. Zahatar seasoning (or to taste)
1 TB. lemon juice
2 TB. sour cream
salt (to taste)
Pulse spinach in food processor until it appears as if you finely chopped with a knife. Place remaining ingredients except for sour cream in and pulse until slightly chunky. Add in sour cream and pulse until it’s combined evenly.
Serve with pita bread (or in lettuce cups) and tomatoes.