Monday, July 16, 2012

Espinacas con Garbanzos

There is no such thing as too much smoked paprika. You either agree with me or you haven't tasted it. Or you're doing it wrong; like my friend Kyle says, "The last time I smoked paprika, I tried to eat some guy's face." 

A far better application for this quintessential Spanish spice is in the vegan classic espinacas con garbanzos.  Translated: spinach and garbanzo beans. It sounds so much more exotic in Spanish, doesn't it? It combines smoked paprika with two other classic elements of the regional cuisine: red wine vinegar and cumin. 

We eat espinacas con garbanzos here almost weekly over a bed of quinoa and with a glass of Rioja or Tempranillo. It's simple, vegan comfort food, so good you won't be hungry for flesh at all. 

serves 2-4 

extra virgin olive oil
2 bunches fresh spinach, thoroughly rinsed and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon red chili flake 
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
pinch of sugar
2 plum tomatoes, diced 
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 cups cooked quinoa 

Heat a two-count of olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and chili and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the spinach and cover the pan with a lid, stirring infrequently until the greens are wilted. 

Add the chickpeas, vinegar, and spices and cook until heated through. Remove from the heat. Toss in the plum tomatoes and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

Serve over quinoa. 


  1. So funny! I made this tonight, though my own version, which is everything you have here minus the tomatoes. Since my family also eats it so much, I make a large quantity of the spice mixture and keep it in a pretty ceramic dish. I mix equal tablespoons of smoked paprika, oregano, and cumin, and a little dried coriander and chili flakes with a mortar and pestle (or coffee grinder). It's good on everything: meat, scrambled eggs, roasted veggies, etc! And so cheap to make!

  2. That is such a great idea to keep a jar of the spices mixed in the cupboard!

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