The Book Vegetables

37. Swiss Chard and Chickpeas p.542

the recipe

This quick stew was fine, nothing special, but fine. It’s centred around swiss chard and chickpeas, with a bit of tomato, onion, garlic, and lemon juice. It was a bit bland, and the flavours never really came together. The fibrous swiss chard and grainy chickpeas didn’t make for the most appealing texture either. On the other hand it was a heathly and simple side dish.

I think this was a case of great things being inappropriately combined. Sauteed swiss chard with a bit of onion garlic and lemon is an excellent summery vegetable dish. Simiarly a simple chick pea salad with those ingredients is a satisfying dish any time. Put them together and add tomato, and you get something less than the sum of it’s parts. I don’t think tomato would be particularly good with the chard or the chickpeas alone, and it didn’t really add much to the stew.

On the plus side the ingredients were easily available, there was almost no effort involved in making it, it’s cheap, and it feels healthy. Unfortunately “tastes really healthy” is the food equivalent of “has a great personality”.