Simple Aubergine and Chickpea Stew
One of the many things I love about Spain is the food – duh no surprise there! I’m sure you’ve heard me rave on about the burgeoning food scene in Barcelona with it’s cool little eateries on every corner and plethora of vegan and raw restaurants (you might like to check out my guild here) but when we’re at our place in the mountains the food is very different. Most cafes and restaurants offer a similar menu; bravas, tortilla, gambas, tomato bread, salad, platters of cured meat etc. All home cooked, fresh and delicious but this can be a little challenging if you’re plant based. However over the last few years I’ve noticed a change, the supermarkets are now stocking more and more organic produce and I even bought some tahini this time, plus there seems to be health food shops popping up all over the place.
I wonder what’s happening and is it a good thing? I certainly appreciate being able to buy some of the core ingredients I usually use for my recipes (which I completely take for granted in the UK) but is a move, however subtle, away from traditional dishes a good thing? Would love to hear your thoughts…
Our favourite flatbread pizza with roast veg from the bakery in the village with salad made with delicious fresh veg, toasted pinenuts and sprouts. Eaten in the sun.
I made this simple aubergine and chickpea stew the other day for Andy and I and for me it typifies the ingredients and flavours which are available in the supermarkets and in restaurants here; lots of amazing tomatoes, garlic, the best olive oil, and pimenton of course with its sweet flavour.
This is a simple, healthy and super tasty dish with a rich tomato sauce, aubergine and lots of chickpeas, I used organic pre cooked chickpeas which you can get easily in big glass jars here, which have doubled up as storage containers for dried pulses here in the flat. I love that.
I cooked my sauce for 20 minutes but for a richer version just continue to simmer away for another 20 or so and add in a little water if it gets too dry. At the end I seasoned with salt, pepper and the juice of half a lemon which really freshens the flavour. I also added an additional tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, I love that you can still taste the delicious oil if you stir it in at the end.
We ate this on the balcony with a rocket salad simply dressed with olive oil, lemon and sea salt. Happy days.
- 1 onion roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic sliced
- 2 tsp pimenton (paprika)
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 6 plum tomatoes chopped up
- 1 small aubergine chopped into cubes
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups chickpeas
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Twist black pepper
- Juice 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Add the oil and onion to a medium saucepan and fry on a medium heat for 8-10 minutes until the onion is soft and going a little brown.
- Add in the chopped garlic and fry for a minute or so before adding the herbs. Stir to coat everything.
- Add in the tomatoes, aubergine, balsamic and water. Bring to a fast boil then turn down the heat to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes .
- Finally season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and then stir in the olive oil.