Did you know that Canada is a global leader in pulse production, with over 30% of world pea production and 40% of world lentil production?
And that Canada is the largest exporter of pulses in the world, exporting to over 150 countries?
And did you know that 2016 has been declared the ***International Year of Pulses (IYP)*** by the United Nations, to increase awareness and consumption of pulses—the dry edible seeds of pea, bean, lentil, or chickpea plants?
This month our recipes are inspired by the International Year of Pulses, starting with **Espinachas con Garbanzos** a.k.a. Spinach with Chickpeas.
– Two 15-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
– 6 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 pound spinach, washed
– A hefty 1-inch slice from a country loaf or about 2 slices from sandwich loaf bread, crusts removed and cut insto small cubes
– 1/2 cup tomato sauce
– 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
– Pinch of red pepper flakes
– 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
– 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
– Salt and freshly ground black pepper
– Lemon juice, to taste
1. Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add half the olive oil. When it is hot, add the spinach with a pinch of salt (in batches, if necessary) and stir well. Remove when the leaves are just tender, drain in a colander and set aside.
2. Heat 2 more tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the bread for about 5 minutes or until golden brown all over, then the remaining tablespoon of oil and the garlic, cumin and pepper. Cook for 1 minute more or until the garlic is nutty brown.
3. Transfer to a food processor, blender or mortar and pestle along with the vinegar, and mash to a paste. Return the mixture to the pan and add the drained chickpeas and tomato sauce. Stir until the chickpeas have absorbed the flavors and are hot. Season with salt and pepper.
4. If the consistency is a little thick, add some water. Add the spinach and cook until it is hot. Check for seasoning and serve with paprika on top, or on fried bread toasts (as the Spanish do).
Find out more about International Year of Pulses (IYP2016), or find more pulse recipes [here](http://iyp2016.org/).
Statistics from [www.manitobapulse.ca/international-year-of-pulses/](http://www.manitobapulse.ca/international-year-of-pulses/)