Potato and Chickpea Stew

Last night I made a wonderful vegetarian stew from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Potato and Chickpea Stew obviously contains (wait for it) potatoes and chickpeas; it also features bell peppers, crushed tomatoes, onions, parsley and spices.

Doesn’t that look yummy?

I hadn’t made this in a while, and when I reviewed the recipe I noticed that Madison advises you to serve the stew with a dollop of Romesco Sauce, whose recipe is found earlier in the book. I hadn’t bothered doing that before, probably because I was lazy. I still am lazy more often than not, but I decided to make the sauce this time.

Romesco Sauce combines fried bread, hazelnuts, almonds, roasted red pepper, tomatoes, garlic and a few other odds and ends to make a yummy puree.

I had to shell and roast the hazelnuts, and I made my first attempt at roasting a pepper on my gas burner. I got some decent blistering on the pepper’s skin before it started to get so soft that I feared an epic burner disaster, so I added it to the hazelnut pan with mostly satisfactory results. (I’d throw it in a hotter oven next time.) But the flavor of the sauce was wonderful, and it was a delightful addition to the stew. I think it’d be great with pasta as well, or with vegetables. Or Kalamata olives. Oh, yeah.

That’s me, cooking with steam.

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