This unusual dish is a slightly tweaked version of the recipe found in Michele Sicolone’s 1,000 Italian Recipes.
Sadly, she doesn’t say where it comes from – it has all the hallmarks of some sort of regional food.
You could call such a dish homely or rustic.
You could also call it unappealing or even ugly.
I’ve found with such dishes that the trimmings – some chopped parsley, grated Italian cheese, VOO drizzled when the stew is in the bowl, good bread on the side – make all the difference.
Of course, it tastes better than it looks.
Plain but yummy …
2 cups chick peas,
1 head silverbeet
1 clove garlic
virgin olive oil
1. Soak chick peas over night
2. Next day, boil chick peas in enough water to cover until cooked, drain but keep cooking water.
3. Strip silverbeet leaves from stems.
At this point, the recipe is unclear whether, when it comes time to cooking the silverbeet, it should be dry or still holding water from being rinsed.
In this case, the silverbeet is definitely gritty and in need of a wash, so … water it is.
4. Chop onion semi-finely. Peel garlic but do not chop.
5. Fry onion and garlic until golden – about 10 minutes.
6. Add shredded silverbeet and cook for 10 minutes until wilted.
7. Add chick peas and enough of the cooking to cover and then a bit more.
8. Add salt, pepper.
9. Cook and cover for 30 minutes.
10. By this time, some of the chick peas will have started to disintegrate. Mash some more of them with your wooden spoon against the side of the pot.
10. Throw in chopped parsley, turn off the heat and let the stew rest for five minutes
11. Place in bowls and drizzle with olive oil.
Sadly, unlike many of the other pulse dishes we cook, this one doesn’t freeze well at all.
As we eat, I can tell Bennie isn’t digging on this – I presume because it isn’t the most kid-friendly stew going around.
“In actual fact,” he says, “it’s because I’m not exactly keen on chick peas …”
Sheesh – and here’s me thinking I know my own kid!
I dunno – maybe he did and now he doesn’t.
He does, however, dig on the fact it doesn’t freeze well!