In 1999 we went to Spain and I returned raving about garbanzos con espinacas. This is a tapa you get in Madrid and in the South (maybe in the north too but we didn't go there). The flavors just drove me crazy: rich, slightly tangy, earthy. I couldn't get enough of it.
A friend from the Usenet posted Penelope Casas' recipe, and I revised it and posted the following a few years ago on rec.food.cooking.
The recipe included grated chocolate and saffron which I think are the two magic ingredients.
Here's how I adapted the recipe using the pressure cooker (with thanks to Lorna Sass)
1 cup dry chickpeas
4 cloves garlic -- peeled
1 onion - half cut into slices, the other half finely chopped
1/2 cup tomato -- peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 pound frozen spinach - chopped
Several strands saffron
1/4 c. olive oil plus one tablespoon
1 teaspoon semisweet chocolate -- grated
Soak the chickpeas overnight in cold water to cover. (Pressure cooker -you can "speed pre-soak" by cooking in water to cover under high pressure for one minute. Let cool naturally to release pressure; drain beans and proceed)
Drain and place the chickpeas in a deep casserole with 2 cloves of the garlic, half of the onion cut in slices, 4 tablespoons (1/4 c.) of the tomato, bay leaves and water to cover. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered about 1 1/2-2 hours, or until the chickpeas are just tender.
(Pressure cooker: Use at least 3 1/2 cups water and add a tablespoon of olive oil, to prevent foaming and clogging the valve. Lock down cooker, bring to high pressure and cook 10 minutes. Let cool naturally. If
garbanzos aren't done enough, cook under pressure another 2 minutes. Allow to cool naturally)
Drain, reserving several tablespoons of the cooking liquid and discarding the garlic and bay leaf.
Add salt and some cooking liquid to the frozen spinach (follow package directions for amount of liquid to use but I used more than indicated) and simmer 5 minutes.
In a mortar, crush the remaining 2 cloves of garlic with the saffron (Note - original recipe as typed didn't indicate how much saffron. I guessed - a few threads) and a little salt. In a skillet heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and saute the remaining onion, chopped fine, until it is wilted. Add the remaining 1/4 cup tomato and cook until the tomato has softened. Stir in the spinach, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and the saffron mixture.
Combine the spinach mixture with the chickpeas and stir well to distribute the spinach evenly. Mix in about 2 tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid-or a little more if you wish the mixture thinner- and the grated chocolate.
May be prepared ahead.
Eat this with crusty bread. Drink it with red wine (Spanish rioja?) or a nice dry sherry.
It's a good potluck item because it doesn't need to be piping hot and it's dairy and meat-free, which matters in some circles. No it's not low carb but you can't have everything. I think even Atkins would approve of chickpeas, in moderation. Figure a 1/4 cup serving would equal about 10 carbs, maybe a little more with the chocolate.
Note - how well I remember bringing this to a potluck party for a fellow who was a permaculture student. I assumed he would be vegetarian, so this would be great, right? Wrong. He was on a raw food diet. No cooked chickpeas or spinach for him. Oh yes, and a few years later I am embarrassed to publish a recipe using frozen spinach - so un-local you know. Use a pound of fresh spinach, washed well, stems removed, and coarsely chopped.