Persian Spinach and Black-Eyed Peas


Sabzi is a Persian word that means a mix of greens and herbs, ingredients typical of this Middle Eastern cuisine. The vigorous herbal flavors combined with sweet spices create a welcome wake-up call for winter-weary taste buds. Regular spinach, thick stems removed, can be substituted for baby spinach leaves, which don't require stemming.

  • servingServings


  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 leeks (white parts only), halved lengthwise, rinsed well and chopped (1 cup)
  • 12 to 16 oz. fresh baby spinach, rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 scallions (white and light green parts), sliced
  • 2 (16-oz.) cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


Meal plan: This dish is customarily served over rice, but I like to spoon it over couscous for nice textural balance. To prepare couscous, pour 2 cups boiling water over 1 cup couscous in a heat-proof dish. Cover, let stand 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Top stew with plain low-fat yogurt or soy yogurt if desired, and accompany with warmed pita bread and diced tomatoes-on-the-vine dressed with olive oil, lemon juice and fresh dill. For dessert, serve a platter of sliced fruit accented with a squeeze of lime.

  1. In extra-large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until wilted and tender, 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add spinach, parsley, scallions and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook just until spinach has wilted, about 8 minutes.
  3. Stir in black-eyed peas, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook, uncovered, just until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 6 servings
  • Calories: 197
  • Carbohydrate Content: 37 g
  • Fat Content: 3 g
  • Fiber Content: 10 g
  • Protein Content: 7 g
  • Sodium Content: 235 mg