I love this dish, but I can imagine being a kid and having to eat it every year for Lent would have been a chore, given all the hearty vegetables.
A silverbeet version of an Easter favourite that is traditionally made with wild greens.
- 200 g (7 oz/1 cup) yellow split peas
- 1 bunch silverbeet (Swiss chard)
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 2 onions, finely diced
- 8 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 tomatoes, grated, skins discarded
- pinch of saffron
- 2 tsp sweet pimentòn
- 1 tsp dried mint
- 2 young garlic shoots, sliced (omit if unavailable)
- 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) vegetable stock
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
- 150 g (5½ oz) double-podded broad (fava) beans, roughly chopped
- 200 g (7 oz) chrysanthemum or leaf chicory, leaves stripped and roughly chopped
- 3 mint sprigs, leaves picked and thinly sliced
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Rinse the split peas under cold running water, then place in a large saucepan with twice the amount of water as the peas. Bring to the boil over medium–high heat and cook for 30–40 minutes, until tender. Drain and set aside.
- Pull the silverbeet leaves from their stalks and finely chop them both, reserving them separately.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the onion and cook for 6 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the silverbeet stalks and garlic and stir well to combine. Cook for 3–4 minutes, then add the tomato, saffron, pimentòn, dried mint and young garlic shoots, if using. Stir for 3–4 minutes, then pour in the stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5–6 minutes, then add the split peas and lemon zest.
- Continue to cook until the split peas are heated through, then season to taste and stir in the silverbeet leaves, broad beans and chrysanthemum or chicory. Cook until the leaves are wilted, then check the seasoning and adjust, if necessary.
- Transfer the stew to a serving bowl and squeeze over the lemon juice. Scatter over the mint leaves, along with a big drizzle of oil and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
Recipes and images from Islas: Food of the Spanish Islands by Emma Warren, Smith Street Books, RRP $49.99