Navigate to Food section

Spinach and Chickpea Tajine with Green Olives and Preserved Lemon

May 19, 2022

This delicious tajine makes a very good lunch or supper dish with couscous, rice, or some warm crusty bread on the side. It’s also very good with fresh or frozen baby fava beans instead of chickpeas. The classic combination of spinach, green olives, and preserved lemon is much loved by Moroccan Jews.

Featured in: Curious Yellow


  • 1pound spinach
  • 3tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 ½cups cooked and drained chickpeas
  • ½teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½teaspoon paprika
  • ¼teaspoon ground turmeric
  • about 1/2 cup hot water
  • 16green olives, pitted and halved
  • the rind of 1 small preserved lemon, finely chopped
  • 1lemon, cut into wedges, to serve (optional)
Yield: Serves 3 to 4


  • Step 1

    Wash the spinach and cook in a covered saucepan for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain and roughly chop.

  • Step 2

    Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan and add the onion. Cook over a moderate heat until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the chickpeas, cumin, paprika, and turmeric and stir well. Add the spinach and hot water and season with salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the olives and preserved lemon and simmer for a further 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Serve hot with lemon wedges on the side, if desired.