cloves2 tsp
 black peppercorns1 tbsp
 nutmeg2 tsp
freshly grated
 ginger1 tsp
 extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup
 spinach4 lbs
stems removed, washed and dried
 onion2 whole
diced into small cubes
 garlic6 cloves
finely chopped
 mint2 tbsp
fresh, chopped
 cilantro2 tbsp
 harissa1 tbsp
could also use 0.25 teaspoon cayenne pepper
 black pepper1 tsp
freshly ground
 four-spice powder 1/2 tsp
  cannellini beans 1/2 lb
dried, soaked overnight in cold water and drained, could also use black-eyed peas or dried chickpeas
 extra virgin olive oil1 tbsp
 merguez sausage2 lbs
either 1 long link or individual links
 lemon juice 1/4 cup
freshly squeezed, about 2 lemons
 coarse salt


Soak the cannellini beans the night before. When you kick off cooking the next day, set up by centering a rack in the oven and preheating it to 300°F. Screw in an oven-safe lid handle for the dutch oven if you have one.
In a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder, finely grind the cloves and black pepper together. Transfer to a bowl and combine with the nutmeg and ginger to make the four-spice powder.
Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a wide cast-iron pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add the spinach, little by little, and cook, stirring continuously, until all the spinach has wilted and browned slightly and all the liquid has evaporated, 20 to 30 minutes.
Add the onions, garlic, mint, cilantro, harissa (or cayenne), black pepper, and four-spice powder and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
Pour in 4 cups water and add the cannellini beans (or black-eyed peas). Stir, bring to a simmer, and cover. Braise in the oven for 2 hours, or until the beans are nearly tender.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sear the merguez on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.
Stir the lemon juice into the beans and place the seared merguez on top. Cover and continue to braise until the beans are tender and the sausage is cooked through, about 30 minutes more. Season with salt to taste.

Whenever I put a dutch oven inside the oven, I always swap out the knob for a stainless one. According to the Le Creuset website, the knobs are heat-resistant between 375-480°F. The black phenolic lid knobs on our Signature range of enameled cast iron are heat-resistant to 480°F / 250°C. The black phenolic lid knobs on our Classic range of enameled cast iron are heat-resistant to 375°F / 190°C. Products with integral cast iron handles or stainless steel knobs can be used at any oven temperature.