Wednesday, April 2, 2008

hump day surprise--chickpeas and greens with moroccan spices

dear ladies of the spatula (and friends/creepy internet stalkers),

this is the inaugural post of our interweb sisterhood. madeleine discovered this little gem (in a deborah madison cookbook), and cooked a delicious feast for beeks on a humble wednesdsay evening. hump days are good days if you have the following ingredients:

1 large bunch chard, stems removed
3 cups cooked chickpeas or 30oz canned, rinsed
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tsps sweet paprika
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp turmeric
3 tbsps olive oil
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsps chopped parsley
1 white onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, diced into ½ inch squares
¼ tsp dried thyme
1 small dried red chile
1 preserved lemon, skin only (we replaced with zest and juice of one lemon, but lemon with caution!)

Boil or steam green until wilted, then chop coarsely and set aside. Cover chickpeas with cold water and gently rub them between your hands to loosen the skins. Tip the bowl so that the skins flow off. Drain.

Pound the garlic in a mortar with a ½ tsp salt until smooth or mince it with a knife. Add the dried spices, 1 tsp oil to moisten the mixture, and 2 tbsps of the cilantro and parsley. Pound until a rough paste is formed.
[WARNING: we discovered that it would have been wise to pound the peppercorns first. unless of course, playing hide and seek peppercorns on your plate is your idea of a good time in which case, ignore this disclaimer.]

Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, pepper, thyme, and dried chile. Cook for 7 minutes, then stir in the garlic paste, chickpeas, and ½ cup water or bean broth. When the onion is soft, add the tomatoes, greens, ½ tsp salt, and another ½ cup water. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining cilantro and lemon and serve.

Serve with couscous or bulgur!!

with love,
mco & beeks.

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