Jessica Koslow's Chickpea Stew with Chard, Poached Eggs, and Smoked Chile
1 1/2 hours, plus time to soak the chickpeas overnight
Aioli adds a luxurious texture without being heavy cream. But if you don’t want to add it, don’t worry about it—the stew is great on its own.
1 cup dried garbanzo beans
Fine sea salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and finely grated
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon smoked chile powder
3 canned tomatoes, coarsely chopped
6 poached eggs (click here for the recipe)
2 big handfuls of very thinly sliced chard leaves
1/2 cup aioli, optional (see below)
1. In a large bowl, combine the garbanzos, 1½ teaspoons salt, and enough lukewarm water to cover by a few inches. Let soak at room temperature overnight.
2. On the following day, drain and rinse the garbanzos and put them in a pot. Add 2 teaspoons salt and 4 cups fresh water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so the water simmers gently. Cook until the garbanzos are tender and creamy all the way through and not chalky at all, 45 to 60 minutes. Add water as needed to keep the garbanzos submerged. Transfer the garbanzos and their cooking liquid to a bowl.
3. Return the empty pot to the stove over medium heat. Add the oil, onion, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and chile powder. Let sizzle for a moment, then add the tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot only every so often. The tomato will stick to the pot and brown—that’s good. Scrape it up and let it do that a few times. Add the garbanzos and their liquid. There may not be that much liquid, and if you want the beans to be really stewy, you could add another 1/2 cup water to the pot. Adjust the heat so that the liquid bubbles gently, then cook for about 5 minutes, until the flavors have melded.
4. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out about half the garbanzos, smash them (with a potato masher or even some vigorous fork action), and then return them to the pot.
5. To serve, spoon the stew into bowls. Top each bowl with a poached egg, a tangle of chard, and a big squeeze of lemon juice. Dollop a spoonful of aioli on top, if you’re using it, and enjoy with toast.
1. Using a mortar and pestle, smash 1 or 2 garlic cloves and 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt together until smooth. Add 1 large egg yolk, then pound with the pestle to break up the yolk.
2. Combine 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil and 1/2 cup canola oil in a measuring cup that has a pouring spout. While stirring the garlic-egg mixture with the pestle, slowly drizzle in a few drops of the blended oil. Keep stirring in the same direction as you add another few drops. You’ll notice the aioli will begin to emulsify; it will thicken and get sticky. Once it gets ribbony and tight, you may want to add a squeeze of lemon juice to loosen it up, although you don’t have to.
3. Stay with this tempo, stirring and very, very slowly adding the oil, until you’ve added it all. It’s important to drizzle in the oil in a slow, steady stream, and it’s also important to stir continuously but not too fast. It helps if a friend holds the mortar so that it doesn’t move around on your countertop. You can also put a damp towel underneath.
4. Once you’ve added all the oil, taste the aioli and add a bit more salt, if it needs it. You can squeeze in a little lemon juice to give it some acidity, or you can just leave it as is. Aioli is best the day it is made. (This recipe makes about 3/4 cup.)
A Note on Emulsification
Sometimes when you try to make aioli, it breaks. You’ll know because the oil will separate from the yolk and the whole thing will look thin and not gloppy like mayonnaise. To fix this, crack a fresh egg yolk into a clean bowl. Transfer the broken aioli to a container that has a pouring spout. While stirring the new yolk, slowly—very, very slowly—add the broken aioli drop by drop, treating it as if it were the oil. You may need to add more oil after you’ve added all the broken aioli because now you’re working with two yolks.
A Note on Equipment
It’s possible to make aioli using a bowl and a whisk, or a food processor with a pour spout, or even an immersion blender. For the food processor, it’ll work better if you double or even triple this recipe; one yolk isn’t quite enough volume for the spinning blade to reach successfully.
Recipe from Everything I Want to Eat by Jessica Koslow, published by Abrams Books c 2016.