Recipe: Garbanzos con acelga (chickpeas with silverbeet)

Garbanzos con acelga (chickpeas with silverbeet) is a traditional Spanish stew. This recipe is gluten-free, high in fibre and vegan if you use vegetable stock.

Like many other dishes from Spain, this one has been adopted and adapted in Peruvian cuisine. We tend to make it with ají panca instead of tomato paste, and serve it with rice instead of bread. My unorthodox contribution is that squeeze of lemon juice at the end to add brightness. Most importantly, the vitamin C from the lemon will help you absorb the non-haem iron present in the chickpeas and the silverbeet (a.k.a spinach in Australia).

Last but not least, as with any stew, this tastes better a day or two later.

Garbanzos con acelga (chickpeas with silverbeet)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp ají panca or tomato paste
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium bunch silverbeet or rainbow chard, chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • salt and pepper

To serve

  • 1 lemon
  • cooked rice or crusty bread


  1. Heat oil in a pan or pot on medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft (10-15 minutes).
  2. Turn heat to medium, add ají panca (or tomato paste), tomatoes and oregano, cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add chickpeas, silverbeet and stock. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the silverbeet has wilted.
  4. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and rice or crusty bread.

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