Julia Turshen’s Stewed Chickpeas with Peppers and Zucchini
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If you ask us, recipes are more like guidelines, meant to be adapted to what’s on hand or the flavors you crave. That’s the idea behind this recipe for stewed chickpeas with peppers and zucchini, from Julia Turshen’s cookbook, Simply Julia. (Bonus, it’s vegetarian and vegan-optional.)
“Served with a creamy, lemony sauce and couscous, pasta, rice, or quinoa (or any grain),” Turshen writes, “this is a healthy-and-hearty recipe that is simple to make and infinitely adaptable, too.”
“Swap out the chickpeas for any type of bean,” she continues. “Have extra peppers? Add them! Have a bunch of tomatoes? Chop them up and throw them in. Dice some eggplant, roast it and fold it in at the end. Add vegetable stock to this and call it soup. Skip the grain or pasta and use the mixture to fill quesadillas. This is flexible cooking, which is my favorite kind of cooking.” That’s funny—it’s ours, too.
From the book Simply Julia by Julia Turshen. Copyright © 2021 by Julia Turshen. Published by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.
1 large handful fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup (120ml) mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bell peppers (red, yellow and/or orange)—stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 medium zucchini (about ¾ pound or 340g), ends trimmed, cut into bite-sized pieces
Two 15-ounce (425g) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Cooked couscous, pasta, rice, quinoa or any other grain
1. Make the Sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the parsley, lemon juice, mayonnaise and salt to combine. Set aside.
2. Make the stew: In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once it’s warm, add the onion, garlic, bell peppers, tomato paste, oregano and a large pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the zucchini, chickpeas, ¼ cup (60ml) water and another large pinch of salt. Turn the heat to high, and when the water begins to boil, turn the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and cook, uncovering it every so often to stir, until the zucchini is very soft and the mixture is stewy, 22 to 25 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the vinegar and season the mixture to taste with salt.
4. Serve the stew warm over couscous (or whatever grain you’re serving it with). Top each serving with a large spoonful of the sauce.