Many that know me, know how much I love my meat now and again. Nothing makes me happier than cooking with my favourite Italian sausage. However, sometimes I am more than happy to have veggies and pulses as the main ingredients in my cooking. I think it’s the southern Italian in me. Without me realising it recently, I made myself a vegan dinner for the first time in a while. This chickpea stew with roasted peppers encompasses the beautiful flavours from Salento, Puglia; my culinary home.
Traditionally, little meat was eaten in Salento. Back in the day, the majority of ‘Salentini’ were on a vegetarian or pescatarian diet, using locally grown ingredients as they couldn’t really afford meat. Salento cooking is a very good example of the Mediterranean diet which is renowned as one of the best diets in the world for your body and mind. I think of myself as lucky, as my parents tried to bring me and my brother up on a similar diet living in London where sometimes others around us couldn’t invest as much time or money on their eating habits.
Still living in London, working life can be hectic. There is so much on offer, sometimes it can be easier to select easy quick options which are readily available all over this city rather than cook at home. I still feel there is a misconception that eating well, involves a lot of time and effort which some of us don’t have. However, this recipes says other wise. This couldn’t be any easier. Give it a go and see for yourself.
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 green pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 celery stick
- 1 x 400g tin/jar chickpeas
- 150ml vegetable stock
- Pinch of dry sage
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch of dry oregano
- Fresh basil
Cooking instructions - 2 people
- First, let’s skin the peppers. Turn the grill on a high heat, place all three peppers on a baking tray and place directly under the grill. Cook until the skin has blacked, turning the peppers over.
- Remove from the grill, allow the peppers to cool down. Remove the skin and slice into thin strips. Place into a bowl, season with salt, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with oregano. Allow to marinate while cooking the chick peas
- Next is the chickpea stew. In a medium saucepan, drizzle olive oil and add the onions, celery and carrot. Cook on a low heat until vegetables have softened.
- Add the chickpeas, the sage and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Serve the chickpeas in a bowl with the roasted pepper on top. Sprinkle chopped basil on top.