Mighty Spinach

I was fortunate enough to spend a recent afternoon with two of my dearest friends – lolling about the soothing pools at local spa Banya 5. We were gabbing about everything from philanthropy to epilepsy to men to best friends (AKA dogs) when the conversation turned to … spinach.  Ah, spinach. I love it so. Its silky consistency when braised with garlic. Or soft, subtle texture when tossed with crumbled feta and slivered almonds. And then you add in the antioxidants, calcium, magnesium and other plentitude of vitamins and spinach is, in my book, a culinary champion.

So I was thrilled to hear that my friend’s sweet, 7-year old son Jack recently became a convert.  Just a month ago his mom had told me that spinach was high on Jack’s (thankfully short) list of “icky” foods. Not a chance he would eat it.

 

Then his kindergarten teacher sat Jack and his classmates down and told them that spinach would make them strong. “Spinach will make you as mighty as superman,” she explained. So the minute Jack sauntered through his front door he asked his mom for spinach. “Mom,” he said, “may I please have seven leaves of spinach?” Why this particular number of leaves we’ll never know. And I can only imagine his mom thought she had been transported into a parallel universe. But I think Jack’s teacher deserves the key to the city!

Talk of Jack’s new found fondness for this leafy delight soon turned to a recollection of the dinner my other friend served – which was more than EIGHT YEARS AGO. It revolved around her amazingly delicious recipe for Sautéed Spinach with Chickpeas and Garlic. Honestly, I still remember this simple dish all these years later. And it has become one of my favorite go-to, quick & easy, yet amazingly healthy dinner staples. I wonder if Jack might like it…

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Sautéed Spinach with Chickpeas and Garlic

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 large bags pre-washed spinach (or loose leaf – about 1 ½ pounds)
  • 1 can chickpeas (AKA garbanzo beans)
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (or crushed)
  • 1 large lemon
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Pita bread (4 pieces)

Preparation

Open can of beans and rinse. Allow to drain – ensuring as much liquid is removed as possible.

Select a large sauté pan – the bigger the better as you’ll be wilting a lot of spinach – it really reduces upon heating. Heat sauté pan, warming olive oil over medium high heat. Add sliced garlic and red pepper flakes (if using). Cook over medium until garlic starts to brown. Remove as much of the garlic as you can and set aside.  Add drained beans to pan and heat on medium – about 2-3 minutes. Add spinach. Sauté for two minutes until it begins to wilt.

Zest lemon and set aside zest. Add juice of lemon to bean and spinach mixture and continue to stir until all the leaves have wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and lemon zest and continue to cook another 1-2 minutes.

Serve with warm pita.

Serving Options

  • Crumble feta cheese on top and put under the broiler. Serve with pita as an appetizer.
  • I make a double batch and put leftovers in a tortilla or wrap for a quick lunch the next day.
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3 Responses to “Mighty Spinach”

  1. A. Brown says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I’m hoping Jack’s cousin likes it!

  2. Emma V. says:

    Oh my goodness – this is getting made ASAP. (In winter, I often do sauteed greens – collards or kale – with chickpeas in the mix. Also, quite delightful.)
    Thanks Kathryn!

  3. Jackie Baisa says:

    I made that exact recipe the other night, but with pasta (instead of with pita bread). It’s such a great, delicious, and nutritious combo!

    p.s. I just found your blog, through a friend on Facebook who reposted one of your blogs, and I’m in love! What a great blog. :-)

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