Thursday, July 15, 2010

Vegetable stew with chickpeas

This is one of those awesome meals for make-ahead, because it tastes better the longer it sits.  I found the original recipe in Organic Gardening magazine, and tweaked it a bit to use what I had on hand.  That recipe suggested that it be served over bulgur or couscous, but I liked it on its own with just some good bread and butter on the side.  Next time, I'm going to try it with white beans instead of chickpeas, because I prefer those and think their creaminess will go well with the vegetable textures.

Note that this is not someting I would serve to my picky eater - I made it because it sounded good to me, and will eat it for lunch for a few days.  It is VERY filling!

1 medium eggplant, cut in 1-inch chunks
4 T. olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
1 bell pepper (I used orange), cut into wedges
2 small zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
1 t. paprika
1/2 t. turmeric
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 T. tomato paste (I used ketchup because I didn't have any tomato paste - turned out just fine)
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 c. water
handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
dash hot sauce, to taste
salt and pepper to taste

1.  In a large, nonstick deep-sided skillet or Dutch oven (I used my cast-iron chicken fryer), cook the eggplant in 1/2 of the olive oil over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown on all sides, 10 - 15 minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside.

2.  Put the rest of the oil in the pan, and cook onion, pepper, and zucchini until just starting to brown, about 10 minutes.  Add the paprika, turmeric, and garlic and cook an additional minute or two.  Add tomato paste and water, scraping the bottom of the pan to mix up the caramelized bits.  Add tomatoes, chickpeas, and eggplant, as well as salt and pepper to taste.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in cilantro, parsley, and hot sauce just before serving.

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