Moorish Chickpea and Spinach Stew…Revisited

Moorish Chickpea and Spinach StewThe Philadelphia Marathon is this Sunday, and the end of my training hasn’t exactly gone as planned. I wound up with a sprained ankle two weeks ago, just a few days after my 20 mile run. I thought something felt off, but I continued with my mid-week 8 miler anyways.

Bad idea.

I figured I would skip my next couple of runs and be okay for my 12 mile run scheduled for that Saturday. Then the weekend rolled by, and it still hurt. I haven’t run since.

So here I am: the marathon is four days away, and I haven’t run in two weeks. The good news is that my ankle is feeling much better this week. In fact, today is the first day my ankle hasn’t hurt at all! I feel pretty confident that I’ll be able to run…knock on wood.

I know that running this marathon isn’t that important in the scheme of things, but in my little world right now, it feels like a huge deal. Plus, Matt is running, so we’re going to Philly regardless.

I’m trying to do everything possible this week to make sure I’m in tip top shape for Sunday. I’ve been doing light workouts on the exercise bike, icing my ankle (even though I’m not even sure its necessary at this point), and doing lots of epsom salt soaks. I’ve also been eating a lot of vegetables this week. In my unscientific opinion, I feel like the more vitamins and minerals I get, the faster I’ll heal. Sort of makes sense, right?

This chickpea and spinach stew is one way I’ve been using the insane amount of vegetables I stocked up on this week. It’s one of my all-time favorite recipes, and I adapted it to make it much thicker so it could be served over toast. (Is it too early to carb-load?)

I actually like this version more than the original. It’s incredible versatile; I can imagine it would be delicious served over rice, and Matt and I both devoured the leftovers with an egg on top the next morning for breakfast.

Moorish Chickpea and Spinach Stew, Revisited

Moorish Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 9 oz. dried chickpeas
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • ¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 oz. white bread, crusts removed
  • 2 tbsp. pimenton (spanish smoked paprika)
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ lb. (or more) fresh baby spinach
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste
  • Crusty bread, for serving

Instructions

Soak the chickpeas overnight, or quick soak them by boiling them for two minutes and then letting them sit off the heat for an hour. After soaking, cover the chickpeas with two and a half quarts of water and bring to a boil. Then, turn down the heat and simmer for two hours, or until the chickpeas are tender. Add a little bit of water throughout the cooking so that they’re always covered.

When the chickpeas are cooked, remove some water and set it aside so that the chickpeas are just barely covered. Season with salt and pepper.

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil on medium-low and lightly brown the garlic. Remove the garlic and add the bread. Let it brown and remove it from the pan. Keep the olive oil in the skillet but take it off the heat to let it cool for a few minutes.

Transfer the bread and garlic to a blender. Add a large ladle full of chickpeas with some of their liquid. Puree this mixture until completely smooth, adding more water if necessary.

Add the pimenton and saffron to the slightly cooled down olive oil. Add the sherry vinegar immediately after to prevent the pimenton from burning.

Bring the chickpeas back to a boil and add the pimenton mixture, the bread-garlic-chickpea mixture, and the cumin. If the stew is too dry, add some of the chickpea liquid.

Moorish Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Finally, add the spinach and cook until it wilts. Season again with salt and pepper to taste.

Moorish Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Serve over crusty, toasted bread and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.

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