Spanish Chickpea and Spinach Stew
Get your greens and feel the joy of comfort food with this quick, hearty meal that's great any time of the year.
5 dried dates, or an equal amount of raisins Pinch of saffron 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling 1 medium onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tablespoon sweet paprika ¼ teaspoon ground cumin Pinch of ground cinnamon Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg 1 cup stock or water, or as needed 3 cups cooked, drained chickpeas, or 2 (15-ounce) cans,
rinsed and drained 1 medium tomato, chopped 1 teaspoon unrefined salt, or to taste ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 8 ounces baby spinach
Place the dates in a medium bowl, add hot water to cover, and leave for 30 minutes to soften. Drain, then pit and chop the dates. While the dates are soaking, place the saffron in a small bowl or teacup, add 1 tablespoon of hot water, and leave to bloom for at least 15 minutes, or until you're ready to proceed with the recipe. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, until aromatic. Add the stock and stir to release any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, then add the chickpeas, tomato, dates, saffron, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat a little and simmer for about 15 minutes, until thickened, adding more stock if the pan starts to dry. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the spinach by the handful, stirring to wilt each addition. When all the spinach is added and wilted, the stew is done. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper, if needed. Source: Reprinted with permission from The Whole Bowl by Rebecca Wood and Leda Scheintaub, The Countryman Press 2015