Chickpea and Spinach Stew
2 cups water
20 ounces baby spinach (sounds like a lot, but it shrinks down to nothing)
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
Large pinch of saffron threads
4 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Large pinch of ground cloves
Freshly ground pepper
4 15-oz cans chickpeas with their liquid
1/4 cup EVOO
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1) Pour the water into a large, deep pot and bring to a boil. Add the spinach leaves and cook over high heat, tossing frequently, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain the spinach in a colander, pressing hard on the leaves to extract the liquid. Coarsely chop the spinach.
2) Using a mortar and pestle (if you have it, if you don't try a bowl and the side of a large spoon), mash the garlic to a paste with a teaspoon of the salt and the saffron. Add the paprika, cumin, cloves, and black pepper and mash until combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of the chickpea liquid.
3. Wipe out the pot. Add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onion and tomato and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occaisionally, until they are softened, about 3 minutes. Add the spiced garlic sauce to the onion and tomato and cook for 1 minute.
4. Add the chickpeas and their liquid to the pot. Add the raisins and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the spinach, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.