Espinacha con Garbonzo

Hola!  I have been traveling through Spain for the past two weeks, and am excited to share some recipes I picked up while I was there. First, some general observations on the food in Spain: lots of jamon (ham), french bread, manchego cheese, bacalao (salt cod), beer, and vegetable dishes sauteed in olive oil. Amazingly fresh and flavorful fruit for dessert. Cafe con leche as a popular snack (with or without churros), morning and afternoon.  Beer included as part of the daily lunch specials. I thoroughly enjoyed everything!

I am making Espinacha con Garbonzo (spinach with garbonzo beans) for my family’s Thanksgiving meal. While in Madrid I stayed at my dance teacher’s sister’s house, and this is her recipe.  I also tried verisons at two different restaurants where it tasted slightly different.  This recipe uses paprika for flavoring, while one of the alteratives tasted heavily of cumin. Additionally, the cookbook I purchased includes salt cod  and onion, with no additional spices.  So, if you desire to try this feel free to adjust the seasoning to your liking.

Franco Family Recipe


  • 2 cans garbonzo beans, rinsed
  • 3 bunches of spinach, rinsed well in cold water (or I used 2 bags of already washed spinach)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 pieces of bread, toasted or fried in olive oil
  • 1.5 TB sweet paprika
  • olive oil
  • 1 Tb chicken boullion powder

Fill a stockpot about 3/4 full of water and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, add spinach. Chop spinach with scissors in the pot. Boil spinach for about 3-5 minutes, until bright green and tender.  Drain the spinach and retain 1 cup of the water. Rince the spinach with cool water to stop the cooking process and preserve the color.

Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in the pot. Add garlic and toast until golden brown. Immediately add garbanzo beans and drained spinach. Cover and simmer about 10-15 minutes, being careful to not let it stick and burn.

In a small frying pan heat up about 2 TB olive oil, and toast paprika until fragrant. Stir it around, and quickly add the flavored oil to the spinach mixture in the stock pot. Be careful not to burn the paprika; it toasts VERY quickly.

Mash the toasted bread and add to spinach mixture. Add the cup of spinach water and 1 Tb chicken boullion powder. Cook about 20 min on low, stirring frequently. Add more water if it is too thick.
Taste, and adjust seasonings to your liking.  Eat as is, or top a piece of bread. Enjoy!


1 Comment

Filed under Side Dishes, Vegetable

One response to “Espinacha con Garbonzo

  1. Kelly

    No way Shannon! I didn’t know you were in Spain. how totally fun! The recipe sounds terrific and I will try it soon.

    Love you,


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