Moroccan Chickpeas With Chard
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 Spanish onions chopped
- 1 large jalapeño pepper seeded if desired, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger root
- 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt to taste
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 bulb fennel diced (save fronds for garnish)
- 1 large bunch swiss chard stems sliced 1/2-inch thick, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 1 turnip peeled and diced
- 1 lb dried chickpeas soaked overnight in water to cover or quick-soaked (see note)
- 1/2 cup dried apricots diced
- 2 tbsp chopped preserved lemon to taste
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped (more for garnish)
Heat oil in a large pot over high heat. Add onion and jalapeño and sauté until limp, 3 minutes.
Add garlic, ginger, salt, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper and cayenne and sauté until they release their fragrance, about 2 minutes.
Add tomato paste and sauté for another minute, until darkened but not burned. (If tomato paste looks too dark too quickly, lower heat.) Add fennel, chard stems, carrot and turnip and continue to sauté until vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes.
Add chickpeas and water to barely cover. Return heat to high if you lowered it and bring to a simmer. Partly cover pot, lower heat to medium low, and simmer for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until chickpeas are softened. Add more water if needed (this should be like a stew).
Add chard leaves, apricots and preserved lemon to pot and continue simmering until chard is tender, about 5 minutes longer.
Season with more salt if desired, and serve garnished with cilantro and reserved fennel fronds.
Note: To quick-soak chickpeas, bring them to a boil in water to cover by 1 inch. Turn off the heat and let soak for 1 hour. Drain.