Hearty Spiced Veg Stew served with Farinata
Updated: Mar 20
by Melissa Hemsley from Feel Good (Ebury Press)
Photography: Lizzie Mayson
This veg-packed, Moroccan-inspired stew is hearty enough to enjoy on its own, but you could also top it with cooked quinoa, buckwheat or rice or serve with flatbreads. I love it with Farinata (recipe below). It is also delicious with a chopped cucumber and yoghurt on top. My friend Eva, who tested this, loves the leftovers the next day with fish poached in the sauce.
1 tbsp ghee, coconut oil or butter
1 large onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 big red pepper, deseeded and diced
1 large carrot, scrubbed and cut into bite-sized chunks
300g mix of sweet potatoes and parsnips, scrubbed and cut into bite-sized chunks
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
2 dried apricots or pitted dates, chopped, or 2 tbsp raisins
800ml veg or chicken stock
400g tin of chickpeas or beans, drained and rinsed
150g green beans, topped (not tailed) and cut into quarters
Juice of ½ lemon and 1 tsp grated zest
1 handful of pitted green olives, roughly chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2½ tsp ground cumin
A pinch of chilli flakes
1 handful of whole or flaked almonds
1 handful of mint or coriander leaves, or a mix
A drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
Toast the almonds in a medium saucepan on a medium heat for about 3 minutes, turning halfway through, until just golden and then set aside. If using whole almonds, roughly chop them.
Put the pan back on the hob, heat the ghee and fry the onion for about 8 minutes until soft, stirring from time to time. Add the spices with the garlic, ginger and a pinch of salt and pepper, and fry for another minute.
Turn up the heat, stir in the red pepper, carrot and sweet potatoes and parsnips and add the tomatoes, dried fruit and stock. Bring to a strong simmer with a lid on the pan and cook for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Once the harder veg (the sweet potatoes and carrots) are almost tender, add the chickpeas/beans, green beans, lemon juice and zest and the olives and simmer on a medium heat for around 12 minutes.
Keep the lid off at this point so the sauce can reduce and thicken up, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Divide between bowls, then scatter over the toasted almonds and herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.
Makes 8 slices 40 minutes (hands-on time 10 minutes)
A must make. Here chickpea batter is baked into a thin, crispy pancake that is perfect for dipping into Hummus or to have alongside the beautiful Hearty Spiced Veg Stew and other soups.
150g chickpea (gram) flour
5 tbsp olive oil
1¼ tsp sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling on top
Good pinch of black pepper
1 red onion, finely sliced
20 pitted black olives, halved
6 sprigs of rosemary
Place the flour in a big jug or mixing bowl and slowly pour in 300ml of water, whisking as you go.
Preheat the oven to its highest temperature. Take your largest baking tin, approx 30cm × 22cm (if you don’t have one this large, use two smaller tins approx 22cm × 18cm).
Grease the base and sides with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and place in the oven to heat up.
Whisk the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil into the flour mix, along with the 1¼ teaspoons of salt and lots of black pepper.
Remove the hot tin(s) from the oven, pour in the batter and top evenly with the onion, olives and the rosemary sprigs.
Bake for 30 minutes until deeply golden and crisp on top. (Check after 20 minutes and turn down the temperature to fan 200°C/gas mark 7 if it’s getting too dark.)
Let the farinata cool in the tin(s) for 15 minutes (if you can wait that long!) before slicing each one into quarters and serving with an extra sprinkling of salt on top.
Swap half the olives for 6 anchovies