Besides tomatoes, some of the most plentiful, end of summer veggies are zucchini and other squashes. By this time of the year, you may have already had enough fried zucchini, zucchini bread or zucchini casseroles and may be looking for a recipe with a bit more excitement.
For Meatless Monday dinner, we are making this Moroccan-inspired dish of summer garden vegetables with protein and fiber provided by the garbanzo beans or legumes of choice. This dish also gives you the opportunity to use many of the fresh herbs in your garden like chives, oregano and thyme. And if you find yourself on the North Fork, you many farm stands from which to choose, well in the Fall months.
The recipe for this dish was the result of one of my neighbors who was about to dispose of some overgrown zucchini that had begun to seed. I came with two of our interns who have been gardening and cooking with us all summer and we offered to take them home to see what could be done with them. I normally do not peel zucchini but in a very mature state, the skin is too tough to eat and must be peeled. I grated some and used it for zucchini latkes and the remainder for this garden stew with garbanzo beans and other garden vegetables.
The lively flavors of this dish are perfect with cous cous or my favorite, saffron rice. So break out the rice cooker and enjoy a perfect pot of rice for your Meatless Monday dinner.
1 large zucchini, at least 2 lbs. (if mature, peel and remove seeds before dicing and if still tender, do not peel but scrub and dice into squares). Set aside.
2 15 ounce cans of garbanzo beans, aka chick peas, with their liquid. Also white beans or butter beans also work well with this recipe.
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 red pepper, de-veined and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large tomato—peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
A mix of fresh garden herbs including parsley, oregano, chives and thyme
Add the zucchini (add it first if it is mature and starting to seed) to a heavy sauce pan or dutch oven and cook over high heat, tossing frequently, until slightly browned for 5 minutes. If the zucchini is young, add all veggies at the same time, including the garlic. Add the paprika, cumin, cloves and black pepper and saute for a minute before stirring in 1/2 cup of the chickpea liquid.
Then add tomato and herbs and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender–another 3 to 5 minutes.
Lastly add the chickpeas and the remaining liquid to the skillet and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve from your favorite soup terrine alongside a platter of saffron rice. Sprinkle the stew with additional chopped herbs and drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil on top.
Adapted from Food & WineShare on Facebook