A Moroccan Stew With Spice and Sweetness

A recipe with chickpeas and chard is satisfying and light at the same time, as a vegetarian main course or as a side dish to roasted meats or fish. (Article plus video.)

Comments: 25

  1. Trader Joe’s sells preserved lemons.

  2. Trader Joe's also has pretty good organic tomato paste.

  3. Sounds good. Two points:

    * Lemon zest and lemon juice is not a substitute for pickled lemon. Pickled lemons are easy to make -- there are a lot of recipes (all basically the same) on the internet -- but they do take about a month to age. Alternatively, they can be bought online from Amazon and other stores.

    *I've never understood the use of tomato paste when water is to be added to the sauce and/or the dish is to be simmered for a long time. I would substitute four=to-six good quality canned tomatoes with their juice -- not necessarily Italian with basil -- crushing them by hand and reduce the amount of water.

  4. Tomato paste imparts an intense tomato taste even when water is added. This is particularly true of the Italian tomato paste that comes in a tube. (Whole Foods sells a house brand that is very good!) Canned tomatoes and their juices give a different taste. Try the first recipe as written to get the intended flavors, textures, etc. Then modify. Mine is simmering on the cooktop right now and filling the house with delectable smells.

  5. The reason to use tomato paste rather than tomatoes is that because it's a "dry" ingredient, it can and should be caramelized in the oil prior to adding the wet ingredients. This adds another layer of flavor that you really can't get any other way.

  6. Thanks, but in my experience if you cook tomatoes long enough they get that same intense flavor, after all what else is tomato paste but cooked down tomatoes? Nevertheless, I will experiment.

  7. You should go. The experience is unusually pleasent and hassle free. The country is cleaner than most European, the people really nice and helpful. The country itself is magical and the food devine. The tajine dishes start cooking at 8 am and as a cook you can see all the stages. Don't miss the Marrakesh Jama-el-afna, the largest mid-age coulinarry fair that is re erected every evening,. amusements include sooth-tellers, dancing monkeys, coce bottle fishing and many more wonders.

  8. This is truly delicious. I used only ½ pound chickpeas because I wanted it more soupy than stewy. The spice mix is great, but I used half sweet paprika and half smoked paprika and about twice the ginger. The preserved lemons give it the perfect finish. Do order these online if you can't get them locally because there is no substitute. If you're working toward eating more meatless meals you will find this soup to have a good deep umami flavor that won't leave you wanting. Highly recommend! Yummy and satisfying.

  9. Can't stop raving about this dish! I wanted to try something different to cook for my wife and I and I caught this recipe. I also had to use lemon zest instead of preserved lemons and I used parsley for the finish but otherwise followed it exactly. My knife skills are less than good so prep was about an hour, but oh so worth it. The aromas, the textures and of course the taste make this a dish to share.

  10. This is a delicious and attractive dish easy to prepare even for a cook of moderate ability such as myself.

  11. Thank you - excited to try this. So many American-based Moroccan recipes are chicken-based, and I like this vegetarian twist.

    Having experienced preserved lemon in Morocco, I can verify that it does make a huge difference and it's worth it to seek it out (or make).

  12. This stew really looks good!!

  13. Mark Bittman has a super easy and quick recipe for preserved lemon @ NYT Food. There are other recipes for preserved lemon there, too, but MB's can be made and used on the same day, which is what I'm doing for Melissa Clark's Moroccan Chickpeas.

  14. Made it (without pickled lemon alas), ate it. I don't think it is worth the effort. Similar, tastier, much easier recipe in The Oh She Glows Cookbook - soul-soothing african peanut stew. Have made multiple times; so good.

  15. About a 1/2 an hour of simmering to go and cannot resist taking spoonfuls to eat. Even though the chickpeas are still a bit crunchy, the dish tastes great. I may have contradicted the purpose of this recipe, but added both ground lamb and diced lamb shoulder. Superb dish. Thank you Melissa.

  16. This was so good - adults and kids all loved it, I can see it becoming a winter Sunday favorite. I used my pressure cooker for step #3, which cut the cooking time considerably. Just make sure you don't overfill the pressure cooker - this is a big stew.

  17. Made this last night and it was wonderful! I followed the recipe to the letter, with the exception of salt (added ~1 1/2 t regular sea salt at the end) and subbed dried mission figs for the apricots because that's what I had in the pantry. I did all of the dicing in the Cuisinart, so it wasn't particularly time consuming. Did the fast soak method for the chickpeas. It turned out perfectly spiced and very welcoming on a cold night. Served with bread and argan oil.

  18. Wow, made this with organic canned chic peas and without fennel or preserved lemon because I didn't have either in the kitchen. It was soooo good! Soooo easy! Used a little red chili pepper instead of jalapenos - my theory is throw what you have in and see what happens. With these beautiful spices and the other ingredients, one can't go wrong. For those who want to put a little protein in, you can add tempeh, or for those who wish, meat, anything would do - chicken, shrimp, salmon, venison. Thank you Melissa Clark for the gorgeous recipe!

  19. Also, I used a big can of stewed tomatoes instead of paste and it tasted fantastic.

  20. I love Melissa Clark's choice of foods, her way of cooking, and every recipe I've tried. Well done again!

  21. Delicious! I sort of followed MC's recipe, I didn't have apricots so I used dried cranberries (sugared) and other types of greens I happened to have on hand. It was de-lovely! Yummy, yummy, yummy.

  22. Since I am on a sodium-restricted diet, I did not want to use preserved lemons which are loaded with salt. I substituted chopped, un-peeled Meyer lemons for the preserved lemons. The preparation was extraordinarily delicious and improved in taste on storing in the fridge over night. Even if you eat normal, salty food, the mixture of spices used in the preparation makes addition of extra salt superfluous.

  23. Yet another Melissa Clark recipe to try! She's turned into my go-to star of the new cooking section, plus her videos are always fun to watch.

  24. Very nice. Halved the recipe, doubled the spices proportionately, did not stint on apricots or lemons, I'm a believer. Forgot the fennel but it didn't matter.

  25. I love Melissa! She always finds lovely dishes to cook! She also is my go to star at NYTimes Cooking!