Moorish Chickpea and Spinach Stew

I’m going to Spain for the holidays this year! My mom and I will be spending Christmas with friends in Madrid and Matt is going to meet us there after Christmas for another couple of weeks. We went over to my mom’s to book flights on Saturday night and made Jose Andres’s Moorish Chickpea Stew for the occasion.

This dish is cheap to make and most of the work is hands off, which was perfect for a night of trip planning.

Moorish Chickpea and Spinach Stew
Adapted from Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America by Jose Andres

9 oz. dried chickpeas
Pinch of baking soda
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
½ lb. fresh baby spinach
1 tsp. ground cumin
Salt and white pepper, to taste

Ideally you would soak the chickpeas in water with a pinch of baking soda overnight. We did it the day of for only a couple of hours and just cooked them a little longer.

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 chickepeas are tender. Add a little bit of water throughout the cooking so that they’re always covered.

When the chickepeas are cooked, add additional water depending on the consistency you want. We made it on the soupy side. Turn off the heat and set aside.

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.

Puree the bread and garlic to make a thick, but smooth paste. I needed to add a little bit of liquid to get it completely smooth.

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 and the bread-garlic mixture. At this point, we had realized that we wanted the soup to be a a little bit thicker so we removed a half cup or so of the chickpeas and pureed them. We then put the puree back into the stew.

Finally, add the spinach and cook until it wilts.

Serve with crusty bread slathered with olive oil.

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