Neni often eats a vegetable stew with homemade bread, maybe a piece of cheese, and a few cured olives. It’s a marvelous way to eat: light, inexpensive, healthy. I’ve gotten into the practice, too, and am sleeping better because of it! BTW, avoid the temptation to put more smoked paprika in the dish. It will overpower everything and will make the dish look like a bloody mess. (You can tell, I made this mistake once!) Serves 2 as an entre or 4 as a side dish
3/4 cup olive oil
2 cups sliced onion
2 bunches Swiss chard (about 2 lbs)
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon hot paprika
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 can drained garbanzo beans (or 1 one cup rehydrated beans boiled in 2 cups of water until tender)
½ cup chopped tomatoes
1 whole preserved lemon, chopped
Juice and zest from 1 lemon (optional)
Pour ¼ cup of oil in the bottom of a wide sauté pot with a fitted lid. (Actually, the lid doesn’t have to fit, as you will only partially cover during cooking.) Heat the oil over a medium high heat and add the onions. Sauté until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, wash the chard well, and trim the stem ends. Chop the stems into bite sized pieces and set aside. Chop the leaves into bite sized pieces.
Add the garlic, ginger, hot and smoked paprika and saffron to the onions. Stir to combine, and then add the chard stems. Cook for a few minutes until the stems begin to soften, and then add the rest of the chard. Season to taste. Cook the chard for 5 minutes, until the leaves wilt, and then add the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, 1/3 cup of olive oil, and the preserved lemon. Lower the heat to low and partially cover. Cook for 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is aromatic.
Before serving, add the lemon juice and zest to taste, if you like.