Chickpeas, tomatoes, and kale are no strangers on this blog. Here is yet another variation of how you can prepare them.
I got the idea for a “Tuscan tomato chickpea stew” from the wonderful Satsuma Cafe in the Bywater. If you live in New Orleans and haven’t checked them out, you should! I stopped by for a muffin and a wheatgrass shot (not the best combination, I learned) one recent weekend morning and spotted this item listed as one of their specials on the chalkboard. Rather than order it to go, I made it for dinner that night.
And I made it again tonight. The key to making tomato dishes taste “Tuscan” is the herbs – particularly, the sage. I have experimented enough with sage to know that dried sage just doesn’t cut it in practically any recipe as it tastes stale to me. So if I’m using sage, it’s fresh sage.
I used to have a pot of fresh sage out back, but it did not survive the summer heat. Since I haven’t replaced it yet, I buy fresh sage and keep it along with my other fresh herbs in a little cup of water in my fridge, loosely covered with a plastic bag. It’s a great way to prolong the life of fresh herbs.
In any case, here’s the recipe for my version of Satsuma’s special. For me, a meal is rarely complete without an appearance of some dark leafy greens. I’ve thrown some kale in here because a) it goes well with the tomatoes and other flavors, and b) it saves me the trouble of using (and washing) a separate pot. I like to eat this with polenta, but it would be great with practically any other grain or pasta.
Time: 45 minutes Serves: 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
4-6 fresh sage leaves, minced
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (14-oz) can chickpeas
2 cups chopped kale (I used lacinato, though any kind will do)
Heat the oil in a pot or large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, parsley, sage, and a pinch of salt, and saute for 3 minutes.
Add the diced tomatoes with their juice and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas, kale, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup water and simmer for 10 more minutes.
Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired. Serve over polenta or another grain.
Bistro Katie’s Easy Polenta
Time: 20 minutes Serves: 4
1 1/2 cups polenta
5 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
Boil the water in a medium pot. Add the salt. Whisk in the cornmeal. Cover, lower the heat to as low as it will go, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the polenta from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
© 2011 BistroKatie.com
The herbs go so well with the tomato and give this dish fabulous flavor. I’ve made it both with chickpeas and with cannellini (white) beans and enjoyed it both ways. Give it a try and let me know what you think!