Remember the preserved lemons we made a few weeks back? Well, I introduced mine to some chickpeas and Moroccan spices, and sparks flew. The sturdy, reliable chickpea put on a little lipstick, let down its hair, and danced. It wasn’t one of those dorky, awkward dances, either. The chick pea had moves. It was all thanks to the mysterious powers of preserved lemon, if you ask me.
This Moroccan-inspired chickpea stew is as unfussy as they come. It takes minutes to assemble (assuming you’re lazy like me, and you use canned chickpeas). It simmers largely unattended, and it melds into an irresistible bouquet of piquant and flowery, sweet and savory. We had ours with grilled lamb chops (simply marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper). We were reduced to moans and raised eyebrows in lieu of conversation until we’d eaten every last morsel.
If, for some incomprehensible reason, you were not inspired to make preserved lemons a few weeks back, you can buy them at middle-eastern markets, Whole Foods, or gourmet shops.
MOROCCAN-STYLE CHICKPEAS WITH PRESERVED LEMONS
serves six as a side dish, adapted from this recipe in Gourmet (RIP)
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ medium onion, diced small
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5-ounce can small-diced tomatoes, with juice
2 15.5-ounce cans chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 ½ tablespoons minced preserved lemon peel
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup chopped parsley
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat.
Add onion and spices and sauté for about five minutes.
Add garlic and sauté for about thirty seconds.
Add tomatoes with their juice, chick peas, preserved lemon peel, raisins, and a half cup of water. Stir. Lower heat until the stew is barely simmering. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water if it starts to look dry.
When you’re ready to eat, sprinkle with parsley and serve.
On another note, I have to tell you I was mighty flattered to be tapped for a “One Lovely Blog” award by The Hungry Dog. Thanks, Hungry! I never win anything! My mission now is to pass on some blog-love by calling out some of the lovely blogs I favor:
You probably know about The Wednesday Chef already. Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t send a shout out to my favorite food blogger, Luisa Weiss. Reading The Wednesday Chef feels like sharing some laughs with an old friend over the cutting board and a glass of wine. Her prose seems so effortless. And her love of food is contagious.
Jess at Hogwash has a gift for shining a light on the intersection of food and life. I’m impressed by the many graceful ways she weaves the common threads of humanity into her kitchen creations.
Redmenace at A Chow Life has created a stylish site, replete with enticing recipes, great pictures, and an endearingly quirky outlook.
Joseph at Gastronomer’s Guide takes gorgeous pictures. I admire the classy look of this blog. His recipe picks are elegant and inspiring.
I’m grateful to all you food bloggers out there for sharing your recipes and thoughts. I didn’t realize when I started this blog that I’d be stumbling into such a generous and creative community. Thanks!