Gourmet Veggie Mama

Chickpeas and Spinach with Garlic Aioli

The headline here is, I made my own mayonnaise! Subhead: It was so simple and delicious I wondered why I don’t do it all the time. Seriously. If you own a blender and typically keep eggs and olive oil around your house, there is no reason you shouldn’t be making your own, too!

But, I’m getting a little ahead of myself. This story starts back when I began soaking a pound of chickpeas. I put them in to soak overnight and figured I’d magically know what to do with the the next morning. Turns out, I didn’t. So, I put them in the fridge and made something else for dinner. The next day came along, and I planned on making Economical Eater’s delicious-looking chickpea curry, but I didn’t get my stuff together in time to make a crockpot meal… so, again, the chickpeas languished in the fridge. Finally, on the third day, I decided I just needed to wing it. I drained the chickpeas from their soaking liquid, covered them with new water, and started cooking them while flipping through my go-to resource for all things bean-related (and more): Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.

Once again, it did not disappoint. I turned up several delectable chickpea recipes, including one for chickpea and spinach stew. We had just gotten a bunch of fresh spinach and a bunch of fresh parsley in our CSA box, so it was perfect. The recipe called for the spiced chickpeas to be served over a bed of rice or another grain (I used quinoa) and, oddly, a dollop of garlic mayonnaise as a topping.

Chickpeas and Spinach with Garlic Aioli

Apparently, aioli is a common topping for chickpeas in the Middle East, so I guess it’s legit — but somehow, topping your dinner off with a healthy dollop of mayo seems decadent. Decadent, but oh-so-tasty.

This is not the mayonnaise you’re used to, though. It’s lighter and more flavorful and delicious than anything you’ve seen on your grocery store shelves, and, better yet, it’s super-easy to make. I’ve made mayonnaise before, but I did it by hand and it was a tedious process, and not one I’d be likely to undertake often. Using the blender makes it a snap, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to store-bought!

Chickpeas and Spinach with Garlic Aioli
Recipe type: Weeknight Meal
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 pinches crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp fresh or dried rosemary (minced if fresh)
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 15-oz cans, rinsed well)
  • 1 large bunch fresh spinach, stems removed
  • garlic aioli for topping (optional but highly recommended)
Garlic Aioli
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • pinch salt
  • ¾ cup neutral-flavored olive oil, divided
  • 2-3 tsp lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, pressed
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, crushed red pepper, paprika, rosemary and half the parsley. Sauté until the onions are translucent, and then lower the heat to medium and cook until the onion is soft, about 10-12 minutes.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes, chickpeas and spinach and stir to combine. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted and the chickpeas are heated through, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve over a bed of quinoa, rice or other grains topped with a dollop of garlic aoili and a sprinkle of parsley.
For the garlic aioli
  1. Crack the egg into a blender. Add the Dijon mustard, salt and ¼ cup olive oil. Turn on the blender and slowly stream the remaining olive oil in while the blender is running. Add 2 tsp lemon juice or white wine vinegar and the garlic. Turn off the blender and test the mixture. Thin with additional lemon juice or vinegar if needed.

Linked up at:
The Peaceful Mom

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9 Thoughts on “Chickpeas and Spinach with Garlic Aioli

  1. I’d like to try and make this garlic aioli you’re raving about (but I can’t find the recipe–where should I look?).
    kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts.com recently posted..Acorn Squash, Beet, and Sweet Potato Chili: One Beginning, Two Endings (Bean-Free Chili for Vegans or with Beef for Carnivores)My Profile

    • Oops! Looks like I’ve having a recipe plug-in glitch. Thanks for calling it to my attention. I’ll see if I can get it to work so that the aioli recipe shows up, but here’s the short version:

      One egg, room temperature, cracked into your blender. Add 1 tsp Dijon mustard, a pinch of salt and 1/4 cup olive oil and blend. With the blender still on, stream an additional 1/2 cup olive oil into the blender, and then add 2-3 tsp lemon juice or white wine vinegar.

      Hope you try it and love it!
      Lauren recently posted..Chickpeas and Spinach with Garlic AioliMy Profile

    • Okay, fixed! Thanks again for alerting me. Had to wait until after the kiddo was in bed to get it fixed. 😉
      Lauren recently posted..Chickpeas and Spinach with Garlic AioliMy Profile

  2. Thanks for the shoutout! Looks like you put those chickpeas to great use. 😉
    Michelle Collins recently posted..Common Ground in AllstonMy Profile

  3. Ah, you keep posting amazing looking foods! I’ve always wanted to make my own mayonnaise, and ill need to to pass through culinary this semester, haha im gonna start practicing recipes!
    Great looking recipe!
    Sarah recently posted..S’mores doughnuts and a Firehouse Subs giveaway!My Profile

  4. To be honest, I have never thought of using chickpeas as a star of my meals. Maybe it’s the huge meat eater in me. Don’t get me wrong, I love chickpeas but in things like my salad, or dips, etc. However, this dish? I could devour ever single morsel. You have changed my mind about chickpeas…thank you for teaching me that they are worthy of being a main dish 🙂

    Oh, and thanks for linking up.
    Heather @ In Her Chucks recently posted..Fresh Start: Day 2 & WIAW #15My Profile

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