Chickpeas and chard stew

This is an easy and quick summer stew, ideal for a mid-week supper. It goes perfectly with some crusty bread on the side too. The original recipe by Waitrose magazine has you making your own pesto but you can use ready made one for an even easier option.

More with chickpeas: Chickpea, pepper and tomato currySweet potato, ‘Nduja and chickpea hashVegan chickpea & squash ‘meat’ balls with vegan mayo

Chickpeas and chard stew


Serves 4 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 30 mins
Easy | Vegetarian | Gluten-Free

Tip: Use free-from pesto for a vegan version.

You’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil;
  • 1 onion, chopped;
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced;
  • 2 rosemary sprigs;
  • 2 x 400g cans chick peas;
  • 3 large tomatoes, tough core removed, and roughly chopped;
  • 2 tsp vinegar;
  • 200g pack swiss chard, woody stalks removed and leaves roughly shredded;
  • 4 tbsps pesto, to serve

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook gently for 10 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden. Add the garlic plus the rosemary sprigs; continue to cook for 3 minutes. Add the chickpeas and their liquid, the tomatoes and 300ml water; season and simmer briskly for 15 minutes. Break up some of the chick peas with a potato masher.

Just before serving, stir the chard through the stew, wilting for a couple of minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tsp vinegar, then ladle into shallow bowls and top with a table spoon of pesto. Serve with crusty bread, if liked.


Modified from this recipe by Waitrose Magazine, Issue August 2018, available online here.

2 posts have been published to the site Food Notes on Jul 30th in previous years:

== 2018 ==
* Lentil, squash, halloumi and bacon salad
* Yotam Ottolenghi’s Caramelised Onion Crostini

Meera Sodha’s Courgette & Chickpea Dal

Funny story. When I made this Dal from The Guardian’s Feast magazine last week I thought “Wow, that’s an incredibly hot dish…” and wondered about the quantities of spices inside. I eat a lot of spicy food but this was very near killing off the other flavours! I almost was about to blame the recipe before it hit me… instead of chilli powder I had put 1.5 tsp chilli FLAKES. Not only are they usually hotter, but mine are even hotter (having been acquired from a market in Bangladesh). So there you have it, Meera Sodha is most definitely not to blame and also…. be careful with that chilli powder/flake situation! I managed to eat the Dal but it did involve an extra serving of Greek yogurt to cool it down.

More Dhal Recipes: Coconut Dhal

Meera Sodha’s Courgette & Chickpea Dal


Serves 4 | Prep 15 mins | Cook 30 mins
Easy | Vegan | Gluten and Dairy Free

You’ll need:

  • 5 tbsp rapeseed oil;
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds;
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds;
  • 750g courgettes, (about 4) halved and cut diagonally into 3cm pieces;
  • 250g vine tomatoes, chopped;
  • ½ tsp turmeric;
  • 1 ½ tsp chilli;
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin;
  • 1 ½ tsp coriander;
  • 1 ½ tsp salt;
  • 2 x 400g tins chickpeas, and their water.

Heat three tablespoons of oil in wide frying pan over a high heat, and, when very hot, add the mustard and fenugreek seeds. Let them sizzle and pop, then add the courgettes. Fry for 10 minutes, turning only now and then so as to get some good golden colour on them.

Add the tomatoes, cook for five minutes, then add the spices and salt. Mix well, then briefly take off the heat.

Tip the chickpeas and their water into the courgette pan, and put it back on the heat. Cook for a further five minutes until everything comes together, taste and adjust the seasoning if need be.

Meera Sodha recommends serving the Dal with chapatis, some lime pickle and a dollop of cold coconut yoghurt. I served mine with Naan bread and Greek Yogurt.

Original recipe by Meera Sodha from The Guardian’s Feast Sat 17 Aug issue, available online here.

Harissa crusted salmon with chickpea salad

This recipe worked out so much better than I thought. When I first had a look at it in an old BBC Good Food issue I really didn’t think all that much of it. But On a night where I needed something speedy and efficient I gave it a go and boy! Was I taken a back with the flavours. Turns out harissa, salmon and chickpeas go quite well together!

More with salmon: Chipotle salmon with avocado salsa and chilli broccoli | Poached salmon with Dauphinose potatoes and more | Smoked salmon & cream cheese linguine

Harissa crusted salmon with chickpea salad


Serves 2 | Prep 15 mins | Cook 12 mins
Easy | Dairy-free

You’ll need:

  • 2 salmon fillets;
  • 4 tbsp breadcrumbs;
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste;
  • 250g punnet cherry tomatoes;
  • ½ small red onion;
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained;
  • small bunch parsley;
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil;
  • 2 lemons, one juiced and one cut in wedges.

Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Mix the breadcrumbs and harissa paste. Press on top of the salmon fillets and bake for 10-12 mins until the crust is golden and the salmon is cooked through.

Meanwhile, make the salad. Halve the tomatoes, chop the onion and parsley and mix everything together with the drained chickpeas and lemon juice. Just before serving, season the salad and add extra virgin olive oil to taste. Mix well and serve alongside the salmon and flatbread if desired.

Original recipe by BBC Good Food issue July 2011, available online here.

Vegan chickpea & squash ‘meat’ balls with vegan mayo

My food philosophy is simple – I just want to cook and eat food that excites me and others. And while I’m mostly an omnivore (with the exception of mushrooms….), I love eating and trying a diverse range of foods. I always get really excited about vegan cooking in particular though, because vegetables & pulses have so much to offer and can taste really amazing. I am a particularly big fan of preparing and eating food that’s naturally vegan and not trying to imitate say bacon or sausages… The Ottolenghi Root Vegetable Stew I uploaded a few days ago and these ‘meat’ balls are a true testament of that. They go with a delicious vegan mayo too and that’s a recipe I’ll be using anytime I need vegan mayo! I adapted this recipe from a Bulgarian magazine Menu by making it gluten-free, clarifying the recipe a little bit and making it a little simpler.

More vegan recipes on the blog: Root Vegetable StewChickpea, tomato and spinach curry, Cauliflower fritters and Quick spinach, sweet potato and coconut stew.

Vegan chickpea & squash ‘meat’ balls with vegan mayo

Serves 4 | Prep 15 mins | Cook 50 mins
Easy | Gluten and Dairy-free | Vegan


You’ll need:

  • Olive oil;
  • 500g squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1 cm cubes;
  • 1 leek, finely chopped;
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed;
  • 3 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped;
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped;
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin.

For the vegan mayo:

  • 1 cup sunflower oil;
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soya milk;
  • 1/3 tsp lemon juice;
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard;
  • 1/3 tsp salt;
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed.

First, cook the squash. Heat the oven to 220C/ 200C fan/ gas mark 7. Put the squash in a roasting tin, drizzle with a little olive and season. Cover with foil and cook for 20-25 mins until cooked through and soft. Set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a deep frying pan and cook the leek on medium heat until soft. Add the chickpeas, the cooked squash, sundried tomatoes, chilli cumin and season. Stir well. Once the ingredients have warmed through, take the pan away from the heat. Using a potato masher, mash the ingredients together into a rough mash.

Allow the cool slightly until it’s cool enough to handle. Start to farm meatballs from the mixture – put a couple of tbsp of the mixture in your palm and form a meatball slightly bigger than a golf ball. Repeat until you’ve used the whole mixture. Plate in a roasting tin, drizzle with 1-2 tbsp olive oil and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the vegan mayo. Add all ingredients into a blender and mix in a low setting for a few seconds. You are looking for a thick, mayo-like consistency so just pulse it until you get there – this shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds.

Serve the chickpea meatballs with the vegan mayo, some fresh salad and flatbreads.

Adapted from Menu magazine, available online in Bulgarian here.

Chickpea, tomato and spinach curry

Veganuary might be almost ending but vegan isn’t going anywhere. More and more friends and people I know are turning to more plant based foods in a bit to save the environment. While we need more change in the world to support sustainability and reduce pollution, I do believe, in the words of Tesco, that every little helps. While I’m not planning to go vegan (sorry, I can’t live without cheese…) I am looking to introduce more veggie and plant-based meals at home, by my meat from sustainable sources and doing little things like reducing dairy intake like swapping milk for oat milk in my coffee..

Anyway, back to this recipe. This chickpea curry is just great in all fronts! With just around 150 kcal per serving (according to BBCGoodFood), low fat, containing 2 of your 5 a day, AND it costs around £6 to make (that’s under £2 per serving!). You guessed it, it’s also really quick to make. You just can’t go wrong with this one. If you need to dial down the heat, halve the chillies.

Chickpea, tomato and spinach curry

Serves 4 | Prep 10 minutes | Cook 25 minutes
Easy | Vegan | Gluten and Dairy Free

Chickpea tomato and spinach curry 1

You’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ finger length piece fresh root ginger, shredded
  • 2 mild red chillies, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¾ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp tomato purée
  • 400g can chickpea, rinsed and drained
  • 200g baby spinach leaves
  • rice or naan bread, to serve

Heat the oil in a large, deep pan or a sauce pan, and fry the onion over a low heat until softened. Stir in the garlic, ginger and chillies and cook for a further 5 mins until the onions are golden and the garlic slightly toasted.

Add the turmeric, garam masala and cumin, stirring over a low heat for a few secs. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and add the tomato purée, then simmer for 5 mins.

Add the chickpeas to the pan with 300ml water (fill the can three-quarters full). Simmer for 10 mins before stirring in the spinach to wilt. Season well and serve with rice or naan.

Nutrition: per serving

kcal 145, fat 6g, saturates 0g, carbs 17g, sugars 6g, fibre 5g, protein 7g, salt 0.56g

Original recipe and nutritional information from BBCGoodFood issue December 2009, available online here.