(English text is below. Türkçe tarif için burayi tiklayin)
In Belgium, I used to buy spinach in plastic bags of 500 grams and washed. The only thing I needed to do was to open the bag and do whatever I want to do with it. Here in Turkey, the spinach that you bought from the open air market will be with its roots. And you have to clean them yourself. Most of the people that I know throw away the spinach roots that they’ve cut off from the spinach with their organic waste.
But here’s one yummy and quick recipe with spinach roots that I got to learn from my mother. It is not something that I am used to from my mother’s kitchen though; it’s only recently that my mother got this recipe from a friend of hers. And when she made us try the dish, we could only appreciate the success of the recipe! I noticed only then that in the supermarkets, you have these roots in bags. So, it is not only when I want to use the roots I cut off from the spinach that I make this dish. When I feel like it, there are these bags of 500 grams or so.
You may say that you don’t want to have spinach and its side products in a row of days, then the roots you can keep a few days in a box. I haven’t tried to freeze them yet; but if one day I try; I’ll also let you know!
Below is the recipe. I added pepper and carrot too, but the original recipe doesn’t include these two ingredients. You are free to add them or not. This time I forgot to boil lentil but that’s not too bad either. If you say, “oh, my dish won’t be perfect without lentil”, you could still boil and add them to the dish later on.
One more thing that I’d like to say: we like to make things sour sometimes. A bowl of lentil soup? We add a few drops of lemon juice. We make bulgur salad called “Kısır” and to it we add a few drops of lemon juice. The main salad dressing in Turkey is a mixture of olive oil, salt and of course lemon juice. I observed from my Belgian husband and Belgian family or friends that sour is not very much liked there. With this recipe, you can limit the amount of lemon juice to try if you haven’t yet or totally disregard it. What makes the recipe hot is the red pepper paste that I use. If the dish is a bit hot, it's also very nice!
Ingredients (Serves 2 small plates)
200 grams spinach roots; carefully washed and drained
Half a glass of chickpeas, boiled and drained
2 spoons of lentil, boiled and drained
1 desert spoon tomato and red pepper paste (two types of “salça” as we call them)
1 small onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped (the original recipe does not include pepper, however I added some and it’s still nice with it)
Half a carrot, sliced thin (see comment above for the pepper)
2-3 spoons olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Half a glass of warm water
Half a glass of warm water
Salt to your liking
- Sauté the chopped onion on medium fire for about 2 minutes.
- Add the pepper and the carrots and stir for 2 minutes
- Add the paste and stir for 2 to 3 minutes till the paste lost its smell.
- Add the lentil and the chickpeas. Bring to low fire, stir a few times.
- Add the spinach roots. Add the lemon juice. Add the water. Close the lid. 10 to 15 minutes should be enough.
The dish is ready when you think your spinach roots are ready (depending on how soft you like them)