janet @ the taste space

Spanish Chickpeas and Spinach with Roasted Garlic

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on December 29, 2012 at 7:16 AM

Spanish Chickpeas and Spinach with Roasted Garlic

Everyone’s taste buds change over time.

Even before I started the sweetener-free challenge, I wondered how my tastes have changed. I can’t do deep-fried foods or other meals doused in oil. It isn’t the fat that bothers me because I easily down more than a handful of nuts in a sitting. 😛

Last week, I started to re-introduce sweets. Fruits: mostly apples and berries. I have replenished my morning grapefruit stash. Dark chocolate, too: I made my Almost Guiltless Chocolate Mousse Pie. After this challenge, my tolerance for highly sweetened foods decreased.

My tolerance for spice has increased, albeit still slowly.

A few years ago, I wouldn’t add any chiles to my cooking.  Three (raw) cloves of garlic were pushing my boundaries in hummus. Raw green onions were spicy enough for me.

Then I discovered Aleppo chile flakes, more flavourful than hot. Slowly I added more and more to my dishes. I began experimenting with Ancho chili powder and paprika as well.

I was drawn to this recipe for Spanish Chickpeas since it looked like a flavourful warm chickpea salad. Spiced with smoked paprika, chile powder and roasted garlic, it really called my name. It has been awhile since I’ve pan-cooked chickpeas, and as I made it, I added spinach. When I sat down to eat it, I was smitten. Perfectly balanced with smoky undertones, sweetness from the red peppers and lightness from the lemon juice. It reminded me of my Spanish Chickpea Salad with Capers and Roasted Red Peppers (without the salty capers) and the addition of the spinach reminded me of Andalusian Chickpeas and Spinach. Two years ago, I made a hybrid from Deb’s recipe and the recipe in The New Spanish Table. All I remember was that it too spicy. I remember kicking myself for using so much paprika.

Two years later, I compare both recipes. I assumed I had used a tablespoon of paprika or something crazy the first time. No, it was only one teaspoon. Just like in this recipe. This version was definitely not spicy even with the addition of Ancho chile powder.

Any takers? Have my taste buds improved or has my paprika decreased in potency? 😉
(My paprika is not two years old, in case you were thinking it! I used sweet paprika from Penzey’s before and smoked paprika from Whole Foods for this recipe (the brand escapes me at this time) I am tempted to believe that smoked paprika isn’t as spicy as its non-smoked counterpart).

Here are some other great Spanish recipes:

Chickpeas Romesco

Mango Gazpacho

Spanish Lentil and Squash Stew with Roasted Garlic

Spanish Green Bean and Lima Bean Stew

Spanish Lentil and Mushroom Stew

Spanish Chickpea and Squash Stew with Pears (Olla Gitana)

Spanish Chickpea Salad with Capers and Roasted Red Peppers

Spanish Baked Eggs on a Red Pepper Ragout

Spanish Chickpeas and Spinach with Roasted Garlic

This is my submission to this month’s My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Sukanya, to this week’s Healthy Vegan Friday, and to this month’s Bookmarked Recipes.

Spanish Chickpeas and Spinach with Roasted Garlic
Adapted from Taste of Europe (original recipe here)

15 cloves garlic (1 head)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
1/4 tsp Ancho chile powder
1.75 cups cooked chickpeas, cooking liquid reserved
1 bunch spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped (300g prepped)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup green onions, chopped

1. If you haven’t roasted your garlic yet, start now by chopping off the top, sprinkling with oil, salt and pepper. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and roast at 400F for 45 minutes. Set aside to cool when finished.

2. Meanwhile, chop your onion and bell pepper. In a medium non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and red pepper and sprinkle with salt. Saute until tender and translucent, around 5-10 minutes. Stir in the smoked paprika and Ancho chile powder, stirring for 20 seconds until fragrant. Deglaze with a bit of reserved bean liquid (?1/4 cup) and add the chickpeas. Stir and allow to cook for 5-10 minutes until most of the liquid has disappeared. Stir in the spinach, adding it in batches, allowing it to wilt. Once all the spinach has been added, turn off heat. Stir in the lemon juice, red wine vinegar,  green onions and roasted garlic. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serves 4.

  1. Your description had me sweating with joy. The hotter the better! I love a ton of garlic too… Which my trainer hates because heats he can smell it on my skin the next day. Too bad for him! Haha.

  2. Great recipe and great roundup of more. I can never get enough chickpeas!

  3. Hmm…maybe you were accidentally using chili powder instead of paprika, cause sweet paprika is really not spicy at all! Anyway, this looks delish!

    • Hmm.. that’s a thought although I don’t think I had chili powder two years ago… is there hot paprika?

      • Yes, there is hot paprika! Maybe you accidentally got a bottle of the hot! 🙂 I know dishes like chicken paprikash use about 1/4 cup sweet paprika, and it’s not spicy. There are different kinds of paprika – sweet, hot, and smoked. There are all good in a different way.

      • 1/4 cup of paprika? OMG! It reminds me of the time I made kimchi with 1/2 cup of Korean pepper flakes.. WAY too spicy, even for Rob! I think I have smoked bittersweet paprika now and I don’t even really know what that means.. I usually gravitate to my smoked sweet paprika. 🙂 Thanks for the info, though!

  4. Oooh, this recipe is totally up my alley – I love chickpeas, though usually I just end up defaulting to Indian food when I use them, which is a shame! Indian food is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it’s nice to switch things up. Also, smoked paprika is one of my all-time favorite spices…so good.

  5. Yum. This dish reminds me of one of my favourite soups, with chickpeas and smoked paprika:


    The wonderful depth of smoked paprika has fairly ruined me for regular!

    This post also reminds me that I have a bag of Aleppo chile flakes hanging out in the back of my cupboard. Do you use them as you would plain ol’ red chile flakes or do you have some favourite dishes that use it?

    • Hey Jodi, Aleppo chile flakes are my go-to chile flakes because I find them more flavourful than spicy. I consider the standard chile flakes more like a flap in the face and Aleppo more coy. 😉 Since Aleppo is Turkish, Middle Eastern dishes are more authentic but I use it everywhere. 🙂

      I will have to check out that soup for sure! I am always on the look-out for more recipes with smoked paprika.. at least until my stash runs out. 😉

  6. Spicy chickpeas and greens sound like a great combination. We have the opposite spice tolerance at our house–it’s all spice, all the time–but I do have to admit that my paprika is more than a year old!

  7. Love this recipe. Just what i need right now after holiday indulgence.

  8. I generally find smoked paprika to be pretty spicy so I”m thinking maybe you’re taste buds have just acclimated! It sounds like such a great flavorful dish.

  9. […] A few years ago I made a different avocado salad with a carrot-ginger dressing. It was an appetizer, a starter to a potluck with friends. This time, I made this as my meal. I added lots of veggies like cucumber, tomatoes and grated carrots along with chickpeas for protein and avocado and pumpkin seeds for fat (and crunch!). The sweet tangy dressing brought it all together. In fact, I think this dressing was even better than the heavier carrot-ginger version I made earlier. I guess my taste buds are a changin’…. […]

  10. […] spice mash-up with oregano and thyme as well as smoked paprika and Ancho chile powder. I was scared to use a full tablespoon of smoked paprika, but feel free to use more because this was not that spicy. I ended up adding […]

  11. […] spanish chickpeas and spinach with roasted garlic from janet @ the taste space […]

  12. […] 1. spanish chickpeas and spinach with roasted garlic from janet @ the taste space: […]

  13. 15 cloves of garlic! That’s my kind of recipe! Glad I found this from Healthy Vegan Fridays — congrats for being one of the most popular submissions of the week! I look forward to trying this myself.

  14. Want to make this tonight…..but I missing what to do with garlic after its roasted? I don’t see instructions to add it in

  15. […] b) Spanish Chickpeas and Spinach with Roasted Garlic […]

  16. […] since I really enjoyed my Spanish Chickpeas and Spinach with Roasted Garlic, and munching on my very freezer-friendly Greek Stewed Swiss Chard with Tomatoes, Mint and Lima […]

  17. […] Spanish Chickpeas with Spinach and Roasted Garlic from Janet @ the taste space […]

  18. […] 1. Spanish Chickpeas and Spinach with Roasted Garlic from The Taste Space: […]

  19. This looks AMAZING! I’m on a huge chickpea kick so I’ll obviously NEED to make this tonight. 🙂

  20. […] 1: Spanish Chickpeas and Spinach with Roasted Garlic […]

  21. do you eat this by itself or is it like a side dish?

  22. Made this last night and it was fantastic, sure to be a weekly staple! I added a tzatziki sauce and they went together beautifully, the cool cucumber balanced so well with the kick of the chickpeas. Thanks for sharing it!

  23. Sooooo… after seeing this in the top posts today I set out to make it. Then I realized I didn’t have chickpeas, red pepper, or spinach. Instead I used beans, tomatoes, and kale and subbed in Italian spices. It was random, but good. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  24. I’m currently obsessed with smoked paprika and chickpeas! I think they’re made for each other. I’ll definitely need to give this combo a try. Looks like a quick and healthy dinner!

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