Sunflower & Pea Shoots
Black Butte Chickpeas
Beef Bratwurst / Cheese Curds
Montana Roots - Livingston
Gallatin Valley Botanical - Bozeman
Kimm's Organic Potatoes - Manhattan
Timeless Natural Food - Ulm
The Oil Barn - Big Sandy
Wickens Ranch - Winifred / Lifeline Farm - Victor
Stewed Chickpeas & Spinach
From NYTimes Cooking, serves 2-3. Great as a side dish or a simple stew with bread or pita.
Preparation Notes: To cook dry chickpeas on the stovetop, it's best to pre-soak them! Cover with 2-3 inches of cold water for ~8 hours (or more, if you want to soak overnight and cook the following evening). If you don't soak them, it'll take a few hours to cook them through, but it is possible! I highly recommend cooking a whole package even if you don't need them all. Refrigerate or freeze the extras for easy use later. Here are more detailed instructions for ways to cook dried chickpeas. And here's a version for a multi-cooker (Instant Pot) and here's even more directions, including slow cookers.
1 Tbs safflower oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 Tbs tomato paste
~2 C Black Butte chickpeas, pre-cooked
1 C chicken or vegetable stock
Pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes, to taste
1 bag fresh spinach (5 oz), rinsed
Possible garnishes (optional): crumbled feta cheese, squeeze of lemon juice, chopped sunflower & pea shoots, or minced tender herbs like dill, cilantro, or basil
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat, add the oil, and then the onion. Cook, stirring until onions are tender, 5-7 min. Add the garlic, cumin, tomato paste and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook, stirring for another minute or so, until it smells fragrant and the tomato paste has darkened somewhat. Add the chickpeas, stock, and cayenne or red pepper flakes, then bring everything to a simmer. Cover and simmer ~10 minutes.
Stir in the spinach a handful at a time, letting it wilt before the next handful. Add salt to taste and simmer uncovered, stirring often, for ~5 minutes. Add some freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust as needed. Serve with any additional garnishes you like.
Colcannon is an Irish dish of mashed potatoes and simmered cabbage enriched with lots of butter and/or cream, and sometimes bacon. With a few adaptations for cooking time, you can use any hardy green, like spinach. Serves ~4 as a side.
1 1/2 lbs red potatoes, scrubbed
2 Tbs butter, or safflower oil if you prefer
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
5-oz bag of spinach
1/4 C chicken or veggie broth
1/4 C milk or cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
Sunflower and Pea shoots, chopped, to garnish (optional)
Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes and put them in a large pot, then cover with water and bring to a boil. Add a big pinch of salt and boil the potatoes until they are very tender and fall apart when pierced with a fork, ~10 minutes. Drain in a colander.
While potatoes are cooking, rinse and drain the spinach and slice crosswise into strips. Mince the garlic and slice the green onions.
With potatoes draining in the colander, add 2 Tbsp butter, the garlic, and most of the sliced green onions to the hot pot (save some to garnish). Sauté over medium heat for 1-2 min, until the garlic begins to soften but not brown. Add the broth and spinach to the pot, working in batches if it won't all fit in at once. Put the lid on and bring to a simmer until the spinach is wilted, 1-2 minutes. Then add the drained potatoes back to the pot along with the milk or cream and a bit of salt and pepper. Mash the potatoes until everything is well combined. Taste and adjust with more liquid, butter, or seasoning. Serve warm topped with remaining green onions and chopped shoots... perhaps paired with seared or grilled beef bratwurst for colcannon meets bangers and mash!
*Notes* This recipe is simple to adjust: Use all broth instead of the milk or cream, and use safflower oil instead of butter for a dairy-free version. A bit of shallot, leek, or any color onion can sub for green onions. If you want to make a more traditional version with cabbage, you'll need to cook the cabbage in the broth for 10-15 minutes, or until the thickest parts are tender.
Safflower is a flowering crop related to sunflowers and thistles, and is grown on the plains of central and north central Montana. The seeds are pressed for oil, which has a mild flavor and a high smoke point. It works well for everything from salad dressing to baking to high-heat cooking.
Additional Recipes & Suggestions
Everyone should try some homemade falafel at least once in their life. Here's a good recipe to use your chickpeas (which you don't have to cook!)
Chickpeas and potatoes feature heavily in this veggie Indian curry recipe. Spinach and shoots could go in, too!
For more St. Patty's day inspo, you could try making this recipe for Dublin Coddle (guinness, potato and sausage stew) with the beef bratwurst.
We eat shoots and microgreens on just about everything. But sometimes things just start adding up in the fridge, especially with picky eaters. Pesto is a great catch-all for herbs and leafy greens, not just basil!