By chefmegan | March 16, 2012
Last weekend’s snow prompted me to make this warming stew. With a freshly made batch of harissa in my fridge, this nutritious and flavorful dish took only 20 minutes of active cooking time.
This dish is a classic Tunisian breakfast favorite. It’s interesting how many traditional cuisines have such savory and robust foods for breakfast. Although we celebrate the start of the day with some fairly hearty breakfasts in Santa Fe, like with chile smothered breakfast burritos, I think most people like to ease their appetite awake with more simple fare. Either way, this stew is delish, no matter what meal you decide to enjoy it.
Why Legumes + Greens?
The superfood people should start talking about super combinations of foods, not just single ingredients. Greens and legumes are a plant-based nutritional powerhouse. One half of today’s’ recipe provides the following:
14 g. Fiber
16 g. Protein
448% DV Vitamin A
303% DV Vitamin C
1378% DV Vitamin K
50% DV Folate
30% DV Calcium
This recipe contains modest to great amounts of many other micro-nutrients while only supping about 420 calories per generous serving. This information was calculated using SELF Nutrition Data.
If the nutrition facts don’t convince you to give them a try, perhaps taste alone is enough. Legumes and greens suit each other nicely. They both fair well in soups, take on spices, and can benefit from long cooking times. If seasoned well, dishes like these always seem to be greater than the sum of their parts. As you’ll see below, it’s very easy to trade out the basic ingredients to create classic flavor profiles.
Easy Recipe Formula
This stew is a great example of one of my favorite wintertime dinner formulas. Legumes + Greens + Aromatics + Liquid = Satisfying Cold Weather Stew. Today’s variation = Garbanzos + Curly Kale + Garlic, Onion & Harissa + Veg Stock. Let’s see how easy it is to take this basic ratio of this recipe and create your own bean based stews.
Let’s just change a few things to make is Spanish… Garbanzos + Green Chard + Onion, Garlic & Pimenton + Veg Stock & Canned Tomatoes = a perfect Iberian cold weather stew.
Let’s make it Belizian… Black Beans + Collard Greens + Habinero, Achiote Paste + Coconut Milk, Orange & Lime Juices = deliciously spiced Caribbean goodness.
How about Italian?… White Beans + Tuscan Kale + Garlic, Sage, Chile Flake & Parsley or Basil + Veg Stock = a simplified version of Tuscany’s Ribollita.
One more, from France… French Lentils + Brussels Sprouts + Onion, Carrot, Celery, Garlic & Thyme + Vegetable Stock = rustic French countryside in a bowl. You can use 1/2 cup of dry lentils or use the given amount in the recipe if you have cooked lentils.
It’s pretty easy to see that you can take this formula anywhere your taste buds want to go.
Spicy North African Garbanzo Stew with Greens & Garlic
Serves: 2 entrée or 4 appetizers
This stew has a very satisfying during the colder months of the year. Any greens can be used in place of the kale, however, more tender greens will need less cooking time. To create a full-fledged Mediterranean meal, round out the stew with a nice chopped vegetable salad.
1 medium Yellow Onion, Thinly Sliced
8 cloves Garlic, Quartered or Halved
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Homemade Harissa
¼ teaspoon Salt
2 cups Vegetable Stock
1 ½ cups Braised Garbanzo Beans, or a 14oz can – drained & rinsed
6 stalks Tuscan Kale, Stems Discarded & Leaves Chopped
1 tablespoon Freshly Pressed Lemon Juice
1. In a soup pot over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onion is translucent and soft, about 10 minutes. Add the harissa and mix well.
2. Add the salt, stock, garbanzos & kale. Bring to a simmer and cook for 25 – 45 minutes, depending on how soft you want the greens.
3. Add the lemon juice just before serving. Taste and add more salt if desired.
I’m hoping this will be one of my last cold weather recipes I share until the Fall. Spring is has sprung in Santa Fe, but it’s still pretty cold in the evenings. So we’ll see. I might have a few more warming dishes up my sleeve before the month is out. And I hear it’s going to snow again next week…
Love & Tomatoes,