The Spicy Chickpea Stew is a must-try even if you’re not vegan
I’m everything but vegan. I try to help saving the planet every day by recycling, reducing my use of plastic, and also eating less meat, but you know: going vegan is not for everyone. However, I think it’s very important to explore all kinds of cuisine, not only for personal curiosity, but because learning to cook for ALL your loved ones will make them feel comfortable next time you host a dinner (Heaven knows when).
That said, in the last few years, I’ve learned to prepare dishes for friends who suffer from celiac disease and now I’m putting myself to the test with vegan cuisine. There’s one specific vegan dish that has become one of my winter favorites: it’s the Spicy Chickpea Stew, a delicious recipe suggested by Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman (yes, The Black Swan herself).
The recipe appeared for the first time, in 2018, on the magazine Vice and, since then, it conquered many stomachs (mine included). That’s why, today, I’m sharing with you the recipe hoping you’ll give it a go. Trust me: it’s worth a try, even if you’re not vegan like Mrs. Portman.
SPICY CHICKPEA STEW
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large green zucchini, diced
1 (28-oz) can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons kosher salt (you can also use regular coarse salt)
½-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
steamed rice, to serve (optional)
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the garlic and zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the tomatoes and use the back of a wooden spoon to crush them slightly.
Stir in the chickpeas, salt and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then gradually reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and stew-like in texture (25 to 30 minutes). Remove from heat; garnish with parsley. Serve with rice.*
(*To me, the rice is optional if you plan to eat the stew for dinner: it’s already satisfying and I consider it a main course. Add other veggies as a side or some bread if you’re still hungry!).