Last Thursday was one of those days. I didn't even make it food shopping, which, if you know me at all by now (or if you hang out around Serious Eats and you know yourself) is the ultimate indicator of dire straits. I love going food shopping.
Suddenly it was 6 p.m., and I in my kerchief wanted nothing more than to settle down for a long winter's nap. Like, immediately. I would have, too, had it not been for the minor realities of a hungry family and a near-empty fridge.
I don't know what it was, then—a Christmas miracle, perhaps, or a Druid Solstice one—but suddenly, as I peered into the pantry, a stew came together before my eyes. The ingredients just sort of danced in my head the way visions of sugarplums sometimes do (or so I've heard).
In the end, it wasn't just any old stew, either. It was, if I do say so, a pretty terrific one. This recipe makes a lot of food. You could halve it for a single dinner for four, but I'd recommend making the whole lot and inviting friends over for a stew-and-gingerbread-house-building party instead.
Merry Christmas, folks, and happy Druid Solstice, and all that.
About the author: You may know Carolyn Cope as Umami Girl. She stops by on Tuesdays with ideas on preparing the abundance of fruits and vegetables you might get from your CSA or the market.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3/4 cup uncooked basmati brown rice
- 1 tablespoon double-concentrated tomato paste
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes with their juices
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade
- 1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
- 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 piece parmesan cheese rind
- 2 bunches lacinato kale, stems removed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 2 (15.5-ounce) cans chickpeas
- Grated parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
In large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, one minute more. Add rice and stir to coat lightly with oil. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for one minute.
Add tomatoes, crushing each between your fingers. Then add stock, herbes de Provence, red pepper flakes and cheese rind. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover tightly, reduce heat to maintain a simmer, and cook for 25 minutes.
Add kale and chickpeas, re-cover pot, raise heat to return liquid to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes more. Serve hot, sprinkled with grated cheese if desired.