- 200 g chickpeas soaked overnight with a pinch of bicarb (or 2x400g tinned)
- 500 g spinach washed
- 75 g white bread crusts removed, cut into small cubes
- 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 small bunch fresh oregano roughly chopped
- 1 small dried red chilli crumbled
- 1 1/2 tbsp good quality red wine vinegar
- A good pinch of saffron (60 strands, infused in 4 tbsp boiling water)
- 1/2 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- Drain the dried, soaked chickpeas in a colander, rinse under cold water, then place in a large saucepan. Fill with 2 litres cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, skimming off any scum as it builds up, and cook for about 1-2 hours or until soft / tender. Remove from the heat, pour off excess liquid until level with the chickpeas, and season with salt/pepper. Set aside.
- Place a large saucepan over a medium heat and add half the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the spinach with a pinch of salt (in batches if necessary) and stir well. Remove when the leaves are just tender, drain in a colander and set aside.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the bread for about 5 mins until golden brown all over, then add the garlic, cumin, oregano and chilli, and cook for 1 more minute until the garlic is nutty brown. Transfer to a mortar and pestle or food processor along with the vinegar, and mash to a paste.
- Return the bread mixture to the pan and add the drained chickpeas and saffron- infused water. Stir until the chickpeas have absorbed the flavours and then season with salt and pepper. If the consistency is a little thick, add some water. Now add the spinach until it too is hot, check for seasoning and serve sprinkled with paprika on top with fried bread as the Spanish do (or with toast).