Recipe: Espinacas con Garbanzos [Spinach and Chick Peas]

by Cate on March 8, 2012

Spinach and Chick Peas
You know my favorite indication that a recipe is a keeper?

When you can’t wait to have the leftovers the next day.

Which is quickly followed by when someone asks for the recipe.

Or when there ARE no leftovers, so you have to make it again.

Right after just making it.

This is that recipe.

This week, I’ve been on a vegetable kick.  I cannot wait for the farmer’s markets to reopen.  Roasted.  Braised.  Sauteed.  However they’ve been made, it’s been vegetables after more vegetables lately.  Augmented by with salads and fruit for good measure.

It may or may not have something to do with Nick’s declaration that he wanted to give up meat for Lent.

For the record, I said no.

He can eat less, no problem, but until he starts eating fish or opens up his palate to more vegetables, he can’t just give up meat.

His fourth-grade, 63-lb body cannot live on salad and yogurt alone.

So back to my new favorite dish.

I can’t remember the site where I first saw this recipe.  It was a few days ago in my Google Reader when I was catching up on some blog reading.  And the person linked it back to Smitten Kitchen, where she originally got it from herself.

I had all the ingredients on hand.  I always have chick peas on hand.

Besides their obvious propensity to dive into a fresh batch of hummus, I love snacking on them straight from the can, and on top of salads.

Mystic?  Not so much.

Although he did humor me and try this dish.

It took nothing to make.  And you can make it easily if Mystic, his daughter, my kids, and the dog are racing around your kitchen.

Although that would be weird.

But they were all hovering around me, and I still managed to get the recipe made without messing it up.

Some days that’s a bigger achievement than you might think.

Totally buying more spinach this weekend just so I can make this again this weekend (for the record, it’s $3.99/lb at Costco).

Like vegetables?  Chick peas?  A filling vegetarian meal that you can’t wait to have again?  It’s your lucky day.  Make this.  And Joanne, it’s you, to a T.  Have at it.

Before I forget, a note of thanks.  I usually don’t pay attention to the various awards that are given out for web sites because, in all honesty, I just can’t keep up with them and it’s not a priority.  I write here for me, my kids, and all of you.  An award or nomination is just icing on the cake.  Anyway, the Apartment Therapy “Homies” awards are going on, and I happened to notice that my site was nominated in the “Family” category.  It’s too late to go vote (the finals are already chosen, and it’s down to the top of the top), but I want to thank whoever nominated Sweetnicks and voted.  This primarily started out as a food blog, but for me, it’s grown into so much more.  And that Family category?  That’s it.  Right there.  What it’s all about.  What this site is all about.  So thank you.  For the nomination, the votes, and for getting me.  Mwah.

March 8, 2012 – Bonus Photos
Getting Ready for a Project
Nick has an upcoming project due on Paul Revere, so he convinced me to brave the library. I love the library, really I do. It’s more so the stress of shushing the kids and keeping them quiet that I don’t so much love. Luckily the gorgeously redone library has a children’s section that is completely glassed off with near soundproof walls. It takes the edge off. For me.

Library Girl

Sibling Love
Right after this chokehold hug, she tried to give him a kiss. He was having none of that.

Tomorrow?  A book review.
And I think I might sneak in here Saturday with one of my March goals completed.  We’ll see.

Espinacas con Garbanzos [Spinach and Chick Peas]
From Smitten Kitchen, who adapted from Moro: The Cookbook and Lobstersquad

1/2 pound (230 grams) dried chickpeas, cooked until soft and tender or two 15-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I used two cans)
6 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound (450 grams) spinach, washed
A hefty 1-inch slice from a country loaf or about 2 slices from sandwich loaf bread (2.5 ounces or 75 grams), crusts removed and cut inset small cubes (I used two slices of wheat bread)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) tomato sauce
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (I used regular)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lemon juice, to taste

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.

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.

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.

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).

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne March 9, 2012 at 7:23 am

You’re right! Totally me. And it will be coming to a kitchen on the upper east side in the very near future. After which it will take up residence in my belly…and all will be right in the world. Until then…pinned it!


Rachel K March 9, 2012 at 1:12 pm

I love your definition of how a recipe is a keeper! Wise words!

Fab recipe too (not surprised as I love all of the Moro recipes), but I really can recommend getting your hands on some smoked paprika. It does add a lovely toasty savoury flavour!


Claire March 9, 2012 at 9:45 pm

This looks great! Gonna have to try it…though my boyfriend will NOT go for it. He thinks green is evil. ;-) LOVE that picture of Madeline at the library…totally awesome.


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