Chickpea and Spinach Stew/Mezze

Chickpea and Spinach Stew/Mezze

By Carmel Karni    —   See the recipe

This nourishing vegan dish is my homage to a deli salad I used to get in New York city in the 90’s, when I was young, broke and always looking for a healthy snack to augment my diet of bagels and pizza slices. It’s great hot as a stew, or cold as a mezze salad. This dish has very few ingredients, so it really shines with the best ones possible. Though the young and broke me would say that you should use what you have! It will be delicious regardless. The stew scales really well, it’s not fussy and it’s even better the next day. The only caveat is that if you cook your chickpeas (and that’s highly recommended!!) cook them a few minutes less. You want them to be soft but still keep their shape, otherwise they will become paste.

Chickpea and Spinach Stew/Mezze


  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 3-4 green garlic heads or 10 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • A healthy pinch of hot pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry chickpeas, cooked (see our not-minestrone soup recipe for instructions) Or 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ cups chickpea cooking liquid (or water)
  • 1 bunch spinach, rinsed well, large stems removed
  • Fresh squeezed lemon juice, to taste

Put the olive oil and garlic in a large pan and heat over medium. When the garlic starts to sizzle, watch it closely and cook until it gets translucent. Do not let it color. (The taste of burned garlic is what hell tastes like most likely). Add the pepper flakes, a pinch of salt, and your cooked chickpeas along with the liquid, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes to let the flavors meld. Add the spinach and mix it in. Close the lid and let it cook for another minute, until the spinach wilts. Squeeze some lemon juice on the dish, mix gently and taste for salt, lemon and pepper flakes. Eat hot or cold.

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