This fresh and healthy silverbeet with chickpeas takes inspiration from one of my favourite Spanish tapas dishes, Espinacas con garbanzos.
Silverbeet leaves and stalks are panfried, then mixed with chickpeas, garlic breadcrumbs and fresh tomatoes. It’s all heated together and can be eaten hot straight out of the pan, or left in the fridge overnight and enjoyed cold the next day.
Silverbeet and rainbow chard is growing so well in our veggie plot (one of the only vegetables that is…), and I am having to think of different ways to enjoy it. This recipe, I have to say, is one of my favourite silverbeet recipes.
How to eat this Spanish inspired silverbeet recipe:
As part of an easy Spanish tapas along with these other vegetarian tapas dishes: baked patatas bravas, ajillo mushrooms, asadillo manchego, or add in a taste of Venezuala with this Guasacaca recipe which is similar to guacamole.
It is also delicious as a side to grilled chicken or sausages.
I have made this dish with rainbow chard as well as silverbeet, and both work really well.
If using the slightly larger silverbeet leaves and stems, then cut the stems into smaller 3-4cm/1.5″ lengths as they take a little longer to cook than finer rainbow chard stems.
A note about key ingredients in this silverbeet and chickpea recipe:
Silverbeet: If you don’t have silverbeet or rainbow chard, then use kale, spinach or collard greens.
Chickpeas: I use tinned chickpeas but you can use dried chickpeas and cook according to packet instructions.
Breadcrumbs: I have used wholemeal and white bread crumbs and both work as well. I’ve even used breadcrumbs made from seeded bread, and love the savoury nuttiness the seeds give. It is a great recipe for leftover bread crusts!
Frequently Asked Questions:
What does silverbeet taste like?
Earthy, similar to spinach but slightly stronger, with a slight sweet beetroot hint.
Do you eat the stalks of silverbeet?
Yes! They take 3-4 minutes longer to cook than the leaves.
How do you prepare silverbeet?
- Wash the silverbeet well to remove any dirt and grit.
- Use a sharp knife to remove the stems from the leaves.
- Slice the stems into 3 – 4 cm l/ 1.2 – 1.6 inches and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the leaves.
What is silverbeet called in America?
Tips for making this the best silverbeet recipe:
- Silverbeet leaves cook down alot! It may seem like a lot of silverbeet in this recipe when you first put it in the pan, but it soon wilts down.
- You just need to warm the chickpeas through, if you cook them for too long they can turn mushy.
- Add a good pinch of salt, it really brings the flavour of the ingredients out.
Spanish Style Silverbeet with Chickpeas
- 1⅓ tablespoon olive oil divided into ⅓ tablespoon and 1 tablespoon
- 200-250 g silverbeet (Swiss or rainbow chard)
- 1 thick slice bread cubed
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and sliced in half
- small pinch cayenne optional
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1 large tomato roughly chopped, skin left on
- black pepper
- 420g (14 oz) tin cooked chickpeas, drained
- Cut the stems off the silverbeet and slice into 3-4 cm (1.2 – 1.6 inch) lengths
- In a frying pan over a medium heat saute the stems for 3-4 minutes in ⅓ tablespoon olive oil until beginning to soften. If sticking, add a splash of water to the pan.
- Add the silverbeet leaves to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, until wilted.
- Remove the silverbeet leaves and stems to a dish.
- Place the frying pan back on the heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Fry the cubes of bread for a couple of minutes, when starting to turn light golden, add the garlic halves.
- Cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cubes of bread are golden on all sides and the garlic halves have softened
- Add the smoked paprika, and cayenne, if using.
- Tip into a mini blender/food processor and add the vinegar, fresh tomato and salt and black pepper.
- Blend to a paste.
- Heat the chickpeas and the tomato-breadcrumb paste over a medium pan until the chickpeas have warmed through and the paste/sauce has thickened slightly. Add the silverbeet stalks and stems and heat for a minute.
- Check for seasoning, then either serve straight away, or cool and place in the fridge in a covered container for up to 3 days.
- If you place it in the fridge, it is better eaten cold rather than reheated.