Moroccan-Style Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

This is one of those dishes conceived on a whim. It was inspired by recent travels and what I had in my refrigerator and pantry.

I just returned from a family visit in Tel Aviv, and I still had the flavors of the middle east tickling my taste buds. I spent a lot of time shopping and eating. This is how I get to know a country’s soul. Local markets are where conversations happen. This is where the true nature of people is exposed. And in Tel Aviv, the special vibe of mixing North African influence with Eastern Europe always produces and interesting result. For me, well…I got the added bonus of family tradition and home cooking.

Like many others, I enjoy holding onto the memories of a recent holiday – and that is best done in the kitchen. So, mixing seasonal greens with some eggplant and chickpeas, then implanting a heavy spice note seemed like a good place to begin my memory journey.

This dish is now a regular at home – or at least any number of variations that sprout from the basic method. Sometimes I add tomatoes. I change the greens depending on the season. If I have some fresh parsley or coriander on hand – in it goes. So, even though I have outlined the basic steps to the recipe, I hope you will look at as an inspiration – a way to create something tasty without too much effort, simply using what you have on hand. Use canned chickpeas or frozen spinach – perhaps even a can of chopped tomatoes. It will still turn out good if you carefully put it together and follow the instructions on spicing.

Yield: makes about 4-6 servings

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