Espinacas con garbanzos

Espinacas con garbanzos recipe with Primary Beans Chickpeas


Typically served as a tapa, this lovely stew of Chickpeas, spinach, garlic, smoked paprika, and homemade croutons will surely make you nostalgic for your last trip to Spain. We love the method of using bread to thicken the stew, and the splash of sherry vinegar adds a bright acidity that can’t be beat.

Which beans to use? Chickpeas (aka Garbanzos).


The details

  • Serves: 2-4
  • Time: 25 minutes (plus bean cooking)
  • Cookware: large sauté pan or skillet, mortar and pestle or food processor, bean cooking vessel of your choice

    What you’ll need

    The beans
    • ⅓ lb dried Chickpeas (makes ~2-⅓ cups cooked), flavored with 1 tbsp olive oil, ½ large white or yellow onion, ½ carrot, 3 cloves garlic, 1 bay leaf, ½ tsp coarse salt
    The rest
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 2-3” piece of baguette, halved crosswise and cut into small cubes
    • 4 garlic cloves
    • 16 oz spinach (~2 bunches), well-rinsed
    • ½ tsp cumin seeds
    • 1 tbsp smoked Spanish paprika, plus more for serving
    • Pinch of cayenne pepper
    • 1-½ tbsp good sherry vinegar
    • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper


      Prepare the beans and spinach: Cook beans according to our guide in the cooking vessel of your choice. Once cooked, immediately strain beans and cook down spinach in the reserved hot broth. Remove spinach to a colander and run under cool water. Then, squeeze out any excess liquid, and coarsley chop. Set beans, broth, and spinach aside.

      Make the bread/garlic/spice paste: Heat 3 tbsp oil in sauté pan or skillet over medium heat. Toast bread and garlic until golden all over. Add cumin seeds, paprika, and cayenne, and cook 1 minute longer, until fragrant. Transfer to mortar and pestle, add sherry vinegar and mash to a paste. Alternatively, you can use food processor. Return the mixture to sauté pan or skillet.

      Assemble: Add drained chickpeas and ¼ cup of bean broth to the mixture. Stir until well combined and season with salt and pepper. Fold in spinach and cook until heated through. If the consistency seems thick, add a little more bean broth.


      We imagine this with…

      A sprinkle of paprika and your best olive oil. A hearty meat and cheese platter. Gambas al ajillo. Catalan tomato bread. Flash-fried padrón peppers. A bright Spanish red like Mencía or young Rioja.


      Adapted slightly from the Spanish blog Mercado Mercado Calabajío. Read the full story (and practice your Spanish!) here.

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