Archive for February 24th, 2010

They say that great minds think alike and today I think it must be true:  I made a chickpea tagine for dinner last night and this morning I woke up to find that Mark Bittman’s recipe of the week in the New York Times Dining & Wine section is a rich Spanish Chickpea stew!

Of course, I wasn’t thinking about Mark Bittman last night when I decided to make this dish.  Instead I was feeling a little achy (I have a cold) and tired (did I mention that I have a cold?) and wanted something comforting for a rainy February night (yes, the rain is back).

Although I have not always been a bean fan, lately I have been craving meaty legumes and chickpeas seemed like a good foundation on which to build a hearty meal.

I grabbed a couple of cans of chickpeas from the pantry, did a little web-investigation and found a recipe that looked like a good place to start,  and less than an hour later had steaming bowls of this fragrant vegetarian stew on the table.

Chickpea and Apricot Tagine
(adapted from http://www.care2.com/greenliving/moroccan-chickpea-stew-recipe.html)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 28-ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
2 cups water
Salt, to taste
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup raisins
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro or parsley

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot.  Add the onion and carrot and cook, covered, for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, salt, cayenne, tomatoes, water, and salt to taste. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, soak the apricots in hot water for 10 minutes, then drain and slice. Add the peppers, apricots, raisins, lemon juice and zest, and chickpeas to the vegetable mixture and cook 20 minutes longer, or until hot and the flavors are blended. Stir in the cilantro and serve over couscous, or even better, quinoa.

This was the perfect dish for a chilly night; it even almost cured my cold!


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