|All these beautiful vegetables go into this delicious Curry|
I don’t know what verb I’d use to describe my reaction to the latest statistics showing that Americans just don’t eat their vegetables….Appalled? Shocked? Disturbed? I’d have to say none of the above. I started doing a check on what I’d been eating in a week. There was the day I had a Porchetta sandwich for lunch—devoid of even a piece of lettuce, then followed that with a dinner out of Speck and Figs, followed by the most delicious Scallops but absent any vegetables of any kind. Of course, this day I ate both meals out. It’s amazing how many very good restaurants don’t incorporate vegetables into their main courses. But I guess when you can charge $9.00 for a bowl of spinach as a side, you’d be hard pressed to rationalize putting a carrot on the plate to accompany a main dish. At home, we do a lot better. Although we hardly qualify as vegetarians, there are always vegetables or, at minimum, a salad. And while we have yet to put a strictly vegetarian dinner on our weekly schedule, this fantastic Vegetable Curry could change that.
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (1 Tbs.)
1 Tbs. ground coriander
1-1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 Tbs. tomato paste
2 cups lower-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup light coconut milk
One 3-inch cinnamon stick
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small cauliflower, broken into 1-1/2-inch florets (about 4 cups)
1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds (about 1 cup)
One 15-1/2-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 oz. baby spinach (about 4 lightly packed cups)
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
In a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium (or medium low if necessary) and cook until the onion is richly browned, 5 to 7 minutes more. Add the garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, for 1 minute to blend the flavors. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne; stir for 30 seconds to toast the spices. Add the tomato paste and stir until well blended with the aromatics, about 1 minute.
Add the broth, coconut milk, cinnamon stick, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low or low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the cauliflower, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots. Raise the heat to medium high and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick.
Stir in the chickpeas, spinach, lime juice, and zest; cook until the spinach has wilted, about 3 minutes more. Season to taste with salt. Serve garnished with the cilantro. Serves 6.