SWISS CHARD And CHICKPEAS
- 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
- 3 cloves garlic (you can leave the peel on)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
- 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, split in half
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, trimmed of tough stalks
Place the dried chickpeas in a big bowl of water to soak for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
Drain the chickpeas, rinse them, and place them in a large heavy bottomed pot, and cover by 2 inches with water.
Bring to a simmer. The chickpeas will give off their starch in the form of foam. Using a spoon, scoop this up and discard. Once the foam stops forming, add the bay leaves, onion, garlic cloves and salt. Let simmer over very low heat until the chickpeas are very tender. This will usually take at least an hour. When they are finished cooking, let them cool in their water.
In the meantime prepare the greens.
Pour the olive oil into a large, saute pan with high sides or pot and add the chopped garlic and red pepper flakes. Over medium heat cook until garlic begins to become fragrant (about 4 minutes). Add the tomatoes and salt, and continue cooking about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have begun to break down. Add the greens. They will fill the pot, but just mash them down and cover. After a few minutes uncover and give them a good stir. They should have reduced quite a bit. Add 1/4 cup of water, cover and let stew for at least 30 minutes. You want the greens to be really good and cooked.
To serve: Place some of the greens and some of the chickpeas on each person’s dish (a pasta bowl works wonderfully). I use a slotted spoon to scoop up the chickpeas, and use tongs to get the greens. What you are aiming for is a dish that is half beans and half greens. Serve with olive oil on the table, which should be swirled abundantly on top.