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Spanish White Beans with Spinach

June 29, 2010

The past two months — as evidenced by the lapse in time between my previous post and this one — have been chock full of major milestones for B, little miss A, and me. We finally finished the house that we had been building for the past year-and-a-half (!), and got through the process of packing, moving, and unpacking (WITH a six month old in tow). Still unpacking, in fact, but I’ve accepted the possibility that we may just be gradually doing that for some time to come. Equally exciting to me is the fact that Little A has started solid foods! She’s a champion eater already (taking after her Mom), inhaling fruits and vegetables that I cook and puree for her, and scarfing down yogurt like she’s afraid there will be a shortage. That’s my girl.

All these major life events have been taking up so much of my mental space, I’m afraid, that posting here has been sparse…but now that we’re settling into our house and I’m able to take a breath again, I promise I’ll be back on a more regular basis. And in the meantime, I wanted to share with you the dish that I’ve made over and over and over in the past 6 months…every time I make it, I’m amazed at how delicious something with so few ingredients can be. Add to that the fact that it’s a nutritious meal that takes all of 15-20 minutes to cook, start to finish, and it’s a winner by me.

It’s a perfect example of a dish in which the sum is more than the individual parts. Garlic, onions and sundried tomatoes are cooked down in olive oil with smoky Spanish paprika; a whole mess of white beans join the party and get coated in the slick of smoky, garlicky goodness; finally, more spinach than you think can possibly fit into your pot joins the fun and wilts down. The resulting dish is fantastic served out of a bowl with a slice of toasted bread to soak up all the delicious juices…and would be equally great as a bruschetta topping, I think.

We’re getting spinach in our CSA share, though it won’t last much longer now that warmer days are starting to arrive…but I already know I’ll be making this over the summer too, with whatever greens we have on hand.


Spanish White Beans with Spinach

Adapted from Gourmet


1 large onion, coarsely chopped (2 cups)
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
2 (19-ounces cans) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup water
2 pounds spinach, tough stems removed


In a large pot, saute the onions and sundried tomatoes in 1/4 cup olive oil with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper until the onions are cooked down and brown. Add the garlic and smoked paprika and cook for another minute or so.

Stir in the beans, water, spinach and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted – about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with a slice of toasted bread and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serves 6.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2010 7:13 pm

    It’s so good to see you back here, Amy. Congrats on the move and the milestones and the beautiful Miss A. This dish looks right up my alley — I love the use of smoked paprika.

  2. Anne permalink
    June 29, 2010 7:52 pm

    Good to have you back! We’ve missed you. Congratulations on the house and all of the other milestones!

    I’m just hitting my second trimester, and very few things have looked appetizing to me lately. This looks delicious, simple and full of great vitamins! Can’t wait to make it.

  3. Beth Hagan permalink
    June 29, 2010 8:18 pm

    Funny, I was looking on your blog for recipes this afternoon. Missed your posts but boy do I understand. I have 3 boys and
    the youngest just graduated high school. Just coming up for air!
    Gosh, she is too cute. I showed her picture to my husband and he loves her hands. Congratulations on your new baby and house.

  4. Betsy permalink
    June 29, 2010 9:50 pm

    Yum – looks delicious, healthy, and simple – perfect!

  5. June 30, 2010 5:25 am

    ooooohhh, yummy, and I’ve been needing the inspiration! good to see you around again!

  6. June 30, 2010 11:46 am

    Is there anything in the world more satisfying that feeding a new baby fresh delicious food? Enjoy it!

  7. June 30, 2010 1:28 pm

    Sounds fantastic! I can’t wait for the next time I get leafy greens in my CSA!

  8. June 30, 2010 4:49 pm

    I always light up when I see you have posted something new, whenever that may be. Congrats on the move! And yes, it is SO fun starting a baby on solids and seeing what they like. Sounds like you have a good eater in the making. I love dishes like these.

  9. Maggie permalink
    June 30, 2010 11:44 pm

    So nice to see you posting again! And what a beautiful baby!! I’ve been making good use of your recipe index in your absence. 🙂

  10. Katherine: What About Summer? permalink
    July 1, 2010 3:11 pm

    this would be great with pine nuts too! your little girl looks so sweet!

  11. July 7, 2010 2:36 pm

    This recipe sounds wonderful! I’m so glad to have discovered your blog 🙂

  12. Wendy permalink
    July 8, 2010 8:21 pm

    I can’t wait to make this! looks so yummy..and little miss A is beautiful!
    hope to see you soon,

    • July 9, 2010 6:28 am

      Hi Wendy, nice to hear from you! Hope you enjoy the dish! 🙂 Maybe we’ll see you at storytime in the park on Tuesdays?

  13. July 9, 2010 12:45 pm

    Hi Amy, I can’t remember if I ever congratulated you on the little one, but please allow me to do so now! She’s adorable!

    I was wondering if she’s eating peas above, and if so… how you made them. I have a little one the same age and, well, peas are something he doesn’t particularly care for. It seems like they’re just not exciting enough for him… he takes to anything spicy or flavored well enough!


    • July 9, 2010 1:17 pm

      Hi Dakota – yes! Those are peas…that pic was taken before peas were in season around here, so they are just the frozen organic peas boiled for a few minutes until bright green and cooked. Kind of boring. 🙂 I actually want to start introducing spices to her though…you are one step ahead of me in that regard! I’d be curious as to what spices you’ve introduced and in what foods.

      • July 14, 2010 9:46 pm

        Mostly I’ve added cinnamon to cereal with bananas or applesauce, and sweet potatoes. I also made potatoes with butter sauted garlic scapes that he gobbled up. He’s also had spicy spanish rice (my aunt made it and I’m bugging her for the recipe but I suspect it was cayenne – I’m not sure what else was in it), eggplant/summer squash parmesan w/out the cheese – that was just a little salt and garlic, and then I cheated and he’s been trying some of the baby foods from Dr. Susanna’s World Baby Foods – Baby Borcht, Lullaby Thai, and Sweetie Tahiti so far. We’ve only been doing solid foods (other than cereal) for about the last month and it’s funny how fast he’s gone from “ooh, food!” to “okay, something more sophisticated please!”


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