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Potato and Chickpea Stew

Source: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
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Active Time:  35 Minutes
Total Time:  55 Minutes
  Serves 4
With its deep red background and golden potatoes, this stew has become one of my favorites. It multiplies easily and improves with time. Picada, a savory bread crumb mixture, is used to thicken the broth while a bowl of Romesco Sauce infuses it with a rich finish. Steamed spinach or chard can be added directly to the bowl - it gives the dish a fresh element - or served on the side.
1 pound Yellow Finn, fingerling, or red potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced 1 large onion, finely diced
2 generous pinches saffron
2 large red bell peppers, finely diced
1 heaping teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup medium-dry sherry
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes, plus their juices
2 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 15-ounce cans, rinsed
3 cups chickpea-cooking broth or water
Salt and freshly milled pepper
Picada, if needed
Romesco Sauce (see recipe)
Other necessary recipes:
Romesco Sauce
If using fingerling potatoes, scrub, then halve them lengthwise. Large round potatoes can be cut into thick rounds or quartered lengthwise.

Warm the oil in a wide pot with the onion, saffron, peppers, garlic, and potatoes. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring gently every now and then until the potatoes are tender-firm, about 25 minutes. Add the paprika, parsley, and pepper flakes and cook for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the sherry and cook until the juices in the pan are thick and syrupy, about 12 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, and broth to cover. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and plenty of pepper. Cover and cook over low heat until the potatoes are completely tender, about 20 minutes. If the stew is soupy and you plan to serve it right away, stir in 1/4 cup picada* (or more, if necessary) to thicken it. If you don't plan to serve the stew for 1 hour or more, it may not need the bread crumbs since it will thicken as it stands. Serve in soup plates along with any additional picada sprinkled over the top along with the extra parsley. Add a spoonful of the Romesco sauce to each bowl and pass the rest.

NOTE: To make 1/2 cup picada, toast 1/4 cup peeled almonds in a 350 degrees F oven until they're pale gold., 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and set aside. Meanwhile, slowly fry one slice of white-country style bread in 2 tablespoons olive oil until golden on both sides. Grind the bread, almonds, and 2 large garlic cloves and a pinch of salt in a food processor to make a crumbly paste.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Broadway Books. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 4
Calories: 839
Sodium: 131mg
Fiber: 16g
Carbohydrates, Total: 72g
Protein: 17g
% Cal. from Fat: 60%
Fat. Total: 56g
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