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  • Stella Hanan Cohen

Spanish Swiss chard & chickpeas cooked in tomato

A simple rustic stew of dark green, velvety Swiss chard (or spinach) and earthy golden chickpeas are cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce. Both Swiss chard and chickpeas were both introduced to Spain in the Middle Ages by the Moors and adopted and cooked for centuries by the Jews in Andalusia. This dish was lightly spiced with a Spanish smoked sweet paprika -Pimenton de la Vera. ‘Espinaca Con Garbanzos’ is still a staple in Spain, served as a Tapas appetizer or as a side dish to grilled foods or even as a vegan main dish accompanied with white rice pilaf.

Home cooks in the East Mediterranean make similar renditions fragrant with fresh dill, lemon juice and often a touch of cumin. This delicious version is served with a slab of Greek Feta Cheese and lots of crusty bread.

‘Pazi kon garvanso’ as it is known in Ladino, often appears at the Sephardic New Year’s table as Swiss chard symbolizes newness and chickpeas augur’s fullness and hope for the coming year.

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