I listen to NPR every day on the way home from work. Because of the economic recession, they were doing a piece on how to feed your family of four with only $10. To me, cooking cheaply is always a win. Especially something yummy. This chef told a wonderful story about how his wife made this for him when they were first married. (And he was probably less famous and making less money.) I find it’s always encouraging to cook if I hear more about how wonderful this dish is. Jason really loves this dish.
Moorish-Style Chickpea and Spinach Stew
1 14 oz can of chickpeas or 9 ounces dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces white sliced bread with the crusts removed
2 tablespoons pimenton (Spanish sweet paprika) or just regular paprika
1 pinch saffron
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 pound spinach, washed and cleaned (I’ve also used kale.)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
If you’re using canned chickpeas, you skip the above steps.
In a saute pan, heat the olive oil on medium to low heat. You want to then brown the bread on each side in the pan. Yes, soaking up as much oil as the bread can. (I tend to use homemade bread, so I don’t usually cut the crusts off.) Set the bread to the side when you’re done.
Let the pan cool for a couple minutes before putting the pimenton and saffron into the pan. Immediately add the sherry so it doesn’t burn.
You want to use a mortar to smash up the bread. (In the original recipe, it also calls for garlic, but I’m allergic so not in my stew.)
In a saucepan, add chickepeas and 1/2 cup of water and bring to a low boil. Add the spinach. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pimenton mix and bread as the stew becomes thicker. Simmer for 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.