This is comfort food, with wonderful textures from the creamy chickpeas to the crunchy bacon to the silky swiss chard. It's rich and filling and perfect for those evenings when there's a nip in the air. The bacon is optional. To make this a meatless meal, simply omit it (and add a bit more butter). —katie hill
one. to serve more, simply double, triple or quadruple the recipe.
cup cooked chickpeas, dried or canned
slice of thick cut bacon (omit for a vegetarian version)
portobello mushroom or 2 medium-to-large baby bellas
inch length of large leek
large leaves of swiss chard, with some stem
generous wedge of lemon
In This Recipe
It's important to use dry chickpeas for this dish. To cook, soak the chickpeas overnight or longer, changing the water a couple of times. Drain. Add water to cover by an inch or so. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, over the lowest simmer you can. The water should just "smile." Chickpeas vary dramatically in their cooking time, so start checking at 40 minutes. When the texture becomes creamy rather than grainy, they're done. Drain and pat dry to use immediately in this dish, or drain and store in the fridge and they'll be dry enough to use. If you use canned chickpeas, simply drain and dry.
Put the bacon on to fry.
While the bacon is frying, slice the mushroom into bite size pieces about 1/4" thick, and slice the leeks into 1/8" rounds. Put aside.
Rough chop the chard and wash it, putting it into a separate pan with a few extra splashes of water.
When the bacon is done, drain and set aside.
Leave about half a tablespoon of bacon fat in the pan and add half a tablespoon of butter to melt under low to medium heat.
Turn the heat on under the chard and steam, stirring occasionally.
When the butter starts to sizzle, put in the mushrooms and leeks, stirring to coat with the butter and bacon fat. When they start to glisten, add the chickpeas. Stir occasionally.
When the chard has wilted, the chickpea mix will be done.
Plate the chard and give it a generous squirt of lemon juice. Add the chickpea mix on top, with the bacon snapped into pieces, and drizzle with lemon juice.
Add salt and/or pepper and/or fresh herbs of your choice (parsley is nice) to taste.