This month’s resolution is to try (and share) at least 1 new recipe a week. I made Chickpea and Spinach Stew from Food and Wine Magazine.
Confession: I don’t try new foods or flavors as often as I think I should. When I find something that really hits the spot, I make it over and over. Even in restaurants where the menu is certain to be full of winners, I find my dish and I stick with it. Sure, there’s something to be said for knowing what you like (they don’t call if comfort food for nothing) but it feels good to shake things up once in a while and that’s why I jumped at this month’s resolution.
I chose this recipe for a few reasons. First, it’s vegetarian. I used to be a vegetarian – vegan for a few years – and, although I eat meat now, I still love vegetarian cooking. The food seems lighter, brighter, and there’s ample evidence that eating plants is very, very good for us. Second, Spanish cooking intrigues me, especially the warm, earthy-sweet spices like saffron, cloves and paprika. And, finally, by mid-January I’ve hit the repeat button on my favorite soups and stews so many times that even I am ready for a change.
This stew is incredibly easy to make, though it does have a few specialty ingredients. As I made it I thought, “What if I didn’t use this or that?" But as soon as I tasted the finished dish, I got it: the ingredients in this recipe work together to make this simple dish taste much more complex. So, while I might normally be inclined to skip or substitute for specialty ingredients, here I will say, “Don’t skip the saffron. Or the cloves. Or the golden raisins. And use really nice olive oil if you can get it.” [But, if you have time, make your own chickpeas].
Share Score: 4 out of 4 diners rated this recipe worth making again!
In addition to being seasonal and vegetarian, this dish demonstrates how easy and transformative sauces can be. If you want to learn more about sauces, you can register for one of our class offerings, held throughout the year on a variety of topics.