Braised Chickpeas, Spinach, and Salt Cod with Pimentón and Coriander

Potaje de Garbanzos, Espinacas, Bacalao, Pimentón y Cilantro

Pimentón de la Vera (smoked paprika) often appears in lentil, chickpea, and bean stew pots. It may be briefly sautéed in the initial sofrito, added directly to the cooking liquid or at the end in a rehogado. This recipe from Villa franca de los Barros in Extremadura is the most unusual Lenten version of this dish I have come across. It comes from the Recetario de cocina extremaña by the Cofradía Extremeña de Gastronomía.

Servings: 6

Prep Time: 45 min.[PT45M]

Cook Time: 3 1/2 hr.[PT3H30M]


1 lb 2 oz dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
1/4 lb salt cod, soaked overnight
For the rehogado:
1 medium onion, skinned and chopped
1/2-1 tsp Sweet pimentón or Bittersweet pimentón de la Vera (smoked paprika), to taste
1 handful of spinach or Swiss chard, boiled and squeezed dry
1 sweet green bell pepper, trimmed and roughly chopped
For the machado:
2-3 black peppercorns
1 clove of garlic
1 clove
1 large sprig of coriander


The chickpeas and salt cod may be cooked well in advance. Cover them with water (unsalted) and simmer slowly until cooked for about 2 1/2 hours (or they may also be done in 30 minutes in a pressure cooker). They may then be left till an hour before serving.

Prepare the rehogado: heat the olive oil gently and sauté the onion, pimentón, spinach, and green bell pepper, turning them frequently in the pan. Add to the chickpeas, season with salt and cook everything together for about an hour. A few minutes before removing them from the heat, add the flavoring machado of pounded black pepper, a clove, a garlic clove and coriander sprig. Serve hot.

From Recetario de cocina extremaña by the Cofradía Extremeña de Gastronomía
Recipe courtesy of Spain GourmeTour magazine.

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