Espinacas a la Andaluza

Spinach and Chickpeas Slowly Cooked with Spices and Sherry Vinegar

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Media Racion


Appears in


By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2007

  • About

I learned this dish from my Aunty Pepa in Andalusia. My mum has always made this rich spinach dish, but I suppose I didn’t value her cooking until I went back to live in Spain and watched Aunty Pepa pound the cooked chickpeas and add some bread picada to thicken the cooking juices. This recipe is packed full of flavour and always makes me feel good after I have eaten it. Sometimes Aunty Pepa added salt cod or poached eggs to the bubbling sauce at the last minute. At MoVida we do a simpler version, which is one of our most popular dishes. We serve hundreds of portions per week, going through tens of kilos of chickpeas and scores of boxes of spinach.


  • 20 g (¾ oz) butter
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) washed and picked English spinach leaves
  • 300 g (10½ oz) cooked chickpeas
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) chickpea cooking liquid
  • 125 g ( oz) bread picada
  • teaspoons Spanish sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • sea salt flakes, to sprinkle


Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Gently sauté the garlic for 1 minute then add the spinach. Using a pair of tongs, carefully turn the spinach over and over as it cooks until it has wilted down to about half its original volume. This should take about 2 minutes.

Increase the heat to high then add the chickpeas and the chickpea cooking liquid. Using the back of a spoon, crush some of the chickpeas into the spinach to bring out a little of the earthy flavour.

After 5–10 minutes, mix in the bread picada, letting it soak up the liquid in the pan. Add the paprika, cumin and a generous pinch of salt and mix well. Season to taste.

Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Add the sherry vinegar and cook for another 5 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken to a creamy consistency. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and serve hot.