I know spinach doesn’t get a lot of people truly excited but this recipe is too good not to share! Also, I figured the “chick” in the chickpeas is a tie-in to Easter? Anyway, I’ve mentioned before this cookbook by Anya von Bremzen called “The New Spanish Table” and I highly highly recommend you buy it for your self, for a friend who likes to cook or for the both of you. The digital age has seen so many advances that make life easier it is hard to imagine life before but there are some things that just need to be tangible and I firmly believe cookbooks are one of those things. Even this blog, my recipe collection here, is not ideal sometimes for my own use! Cooking is a physical, creative expression of love and care for others and for me, being able to notate, cross out, circle and edit a recipe in the book itself is priceless, or at least well worth the $25.00 or so. Plus there are so many asides about where she got the recipe and the cultural significance of certain regional dishes that enhances the value of her book.
Moving on to the recipe. “Esinacas con garbanzos”, this tangy spinach paired with creamy garbanzo beans is easy and healthy and we have liked it so much that I have made it three or four times in double batches. Some of the flavors also go well with Indian spices so this dish has paired well with many other meals of mine. Enough of the chatter, let’s get to it!
- 20 oz fresh baby spinach leaves
- 3 TBS EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
- 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- 4 plum or Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas, drained (leave a little of their juice)
- 1 medium pinch saffron, pulverized in a mortar and steeped in 2 TBS hot water
- 1 pinch sugar
- kosher salt and fresh black pepper
- 2-3 tsp red wine vinegar
Rinse the spinach over a colander and put directly in a deep, large pan. Do not allow to drain, the water on the leaves will be used to cook them. Cook on medium until the spinach is wilted and then return the wilted leaves back to the colander. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil on medium-low and throw in half the chopped garlic. Stir for one minute then add the paprika, pepper flakes, cumin, oregano, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir to mix then add the tomatoes. Cook for about 5- 8 minutes until the tomatoes and juices become thickened with the spices. While these cook, go back to the spinach and press out any excess water that is in them then spread them on a chopping mat and give them a rough chop, add them and the chickpeas to the pot. Mix the spinach and beans in well, add the saffron, sugar, salt and pepper and cook another 8 – 10 minutes. While this is cooking, macerate the last half of the garlic with a mortar and pestle until it is pasty. Add the vinegar then scoop it into the pot. Allow to cook another 2 minutes before serving. The recipe says to allow it to cool for 15 minutes which if you’re preparing another part of a meal then I would just turn off the heat on the stove and let the pot sit, uncovered, while you finish up.
Really very easy, Dukan Diet Worthy, and it got an “A+” tasty-rating here. Go buy the book! (*I receive no compensation for recommending any products or cook-books, this is totally just me saying this is a good book and worth the buy!)