I was in Seattle this past week and as it usually is when I return from a trip, I found myself with an empty fridge. Well, what I consider empty, anyway. So, I went to the produce market to see what vegetables looked good. I was surprised to be irresistibly drawn to some spinach.
I say surprised because, although I like spinach, I don’t exactly go wild for it. But this particular store had bunches of spinach on sale for $1. And they were nice-looking bunches, too. Not wilted or dried, but fresh and green. So, I bought a couple of bunches.
After giving a little thought to what I might want to do with it, I quickly decided that I wanted to make a Spanish tapa staple: Espinaca con Garbanzos. Or Spinach with Chickpeas.
What makes this dish delectable is the bread crumbs, which turns the flavorful, garlicky spinach liquid into a thick, scoopable sauce. If you are gluten intolerant, you can use gluten-free bread crumbs. You can change the flavor profile very easily by adding any kind of spices you like. And best of all, this is a low-cal, low-fat, high-nutrient dish that is savory and comforting all at once.
This is a simple version that you can prepare in no time. The Spanish dollop this on toast for an iron-rich, protein-packed appetizer.
Buen provecho! Enjoy!
Spanish Spinach & Chickpeas
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs. fresh spinach, washed and drained
1½ teaspoons sea salt
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 teaspoons paprika
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
Heat the oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spinach and about ½ cup water. Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon salt. Cover the pan and cook until the spinach has wilted down.
Add the chickpeas, paprika, and remaining salt and stir. Cook another 2 or 3 minutes, or until the chickpeas are heated through.Add the bread crumbs and pepper and stir. Cook another few minutes until it’s thick and saucy.Serve with crusty bread or pile on top of pieces of toast.Makes 2 main-meal servings or 8 tapas servings.