Serves 6 to 8
chickpea with swiss chard

Chickpea with Swiss Chard

 Italian Foodaholic for Chickpea with Swiss Chard

The Italians love their legumes. This classic dish of chickpea with swiss chard is a great alternative to meat for a vegetarian meal.  Delicious flavors meld together for a rich satisfying accompaniment to chicken or pork.

Rogers and Gray Italian Country cookbook was the inspiration to this dish.  If you are ever in England you’ll want to have dinner at the River Cafe in London, you won’t be disappointed. Their restaurant is one of a kind in the culinary world.

Rose Gray, who has died of cancer aged 71, was the co-founder, along with Ruth Rogers, of this iconic cafe, and was one of Britain’s most influential modern chefs and cookery writers. Due to a 23-year partnership with Ruthie, she revolutionized Italian cooking.

chickpea with swiss chard

1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight.

2 large garlic clove, peeled

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 lbs Swiss chard leaves, washed and large stems removed

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces

kosher salt and black pepper

2 dried hot chile peppers, crumbled

1 cup white wine

3 tablespoons tomato sauce

2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped

2 handfuls fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

extra-virgin olive oil for serving

Night before making dish: Soak dried beans in a generous amount of water overnight with baking soda.

Instructions:Drain the beans well, place in a saucepan, cover with water. Add the garlic and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes, or until tender. Keep in their liquid until ready to use. Blanch the chard and chop coarsely.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, add the onion and carrots, and cook slowly for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Season with salt, pepper, and the chiles. Pour in the wine and reduce almost completely. Add the tomato sauce and reduce until very thick. Add the chard and chickpeas and mix the mixture with the lemon juice. Serve sprinkled with the whole parsley and oregano leaves and a little extra-virgin olive oil.

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