And it’s a recipe that just screams summer, which we all need right now because Monday is not the most summer-y day of the week. Ok ok, for real though, I feel like Mondays just require fun food, you know? Just something to push us into the thralls of the week ahead. Especially after testing some pretty dicey mango recipes yesterday and feeling like I had the ultimate sugar rush.
One might say I’m part mango now.
Can we talk about the sheer absurdity that is the mango phenomena at Trader Joe’s? It might be just as absurd as the pumpkin phenomenon. Actually, the pumpkin is definitely worse. I know people have an obsession with all things pumpkin and pumpkin spice, but there are just some things pumpkin spice does not belong on top of. Someone once tried to get me to try salmon with pumpkin spice on it.
Yeah that didn’t go over so well.
But we are in full fledged summer mode now and I could not be happier. For me, summer is not just about my favorite veggies making a comeback (hello tomatoes and eggplant!). Quite honestly, when you have so much abundance at your local farmers market, there is no end to the meals you can create. Quite honestly, my favorite thing is a warm, stewy mess of beans and greens. Y’all know I crave this 95% of the time. This version is my summer take. It is so warm and comforting, yet summery. This seemingly contradictory meal idea (warm stew-y things in summer? what?) means two things. Number one, living alone means wearing your favorite onesie while diving head first into a curry (anyone? Just me?) Second, it allows me to meal prep much easier than preparing a lot of individual things. A lot of you have asked me how I eat alone as a single adult with basically the equivalent of two full time jobs and still eat as well and varied as I do. While I want to say I have a unicorn that prepares all of my food on the side (or, let’s be real, a time turner), I usually batch cook a bunch of veggies, grains, and beans to have healthy meals all week long.
This is one of those happy accident batch prep meals. I am all for a panzanella and this stew does such justice. to the concept of a warm, stew-y panzanella. Think slow cooked chickpeas, warm juicy tomatoes, and a TON of feta cheese. And carbs for dipping, because who doesn’t love carbs. I pair this bad boy with a massaged kale salad with tahini dressing and plenty of avocado (I never skimp on that avo). And that grilled halloumi is my new favorite thing. Oh baby, does it scream salty. I know I said to throw feta on here, but you might as well have two kinds of cheeses. It freezes wonderfully, so, even if you are getting sick of it, stick it in there to warm for another day. It’s like a gift to yourself! The best kind. The no cooking when you’ve got a million things to do kind.
Yields 4 servings
10 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- 1 lb dry chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 8-9 ounce package of halloumi cheese, cut into slices
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt + pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 4 cups cooked chickpeas (see note)
- 2 tablespoons chickpea cooking liquid or water ( chickpea liquid optional, but highly recommended)
- 4 cups chopped heirloom tomatoes, chopped (other tomatoes will work too, but heirlooms are super juicy, which work well here)
- 1 cup chopped red onion (about 1 small red onion)
- 1 tablespoons capers, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- a few large leaves of basil, roughly chopped
- 1 cup arugula
- 1/3 cup crumbly feta
- salt and pepper, to taste
- crusty bread, for serving
In a large, heavy bottom pot, add dried chickpeas and salt. Cover chickpeas with water about 3 inches high. Bring beans to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook for approximately an hour until the chickpeas are cooked through. Allow the beans to cool in their cooking liquid, then discard onion and rosemary. Store chickpeas in their cooking liquid.
Brush the cheese with olive oil and place onto a medium hot grill for 2 minutes on each side, or until marked. Remove from grill and set aside. You can also pan fry the halloumi, but I like the texture of the grill marks
Heat olive oil in a medium- sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, approximately 1-2 minutes. Add cooked chickpeas and 1 teaspoon salt. Saute until warmed through, approximately 4-5 minutes.
Lower heat to medium low. Add red onion and cook for 1 minute. Add chickpea liquid, if using, and chopped tomatoes. Cook for approximately 2-3 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to break down. Add vinegar, capers, and basil, and toss to coat. Remove from heat and crumble feta over the top. Serve with extra capers, red onion, or feta on top, if desired, and crusty bread on the side.
You can totally substitute canned chickpeas (2 14 ounce cans) for the cooked ones. I just love the broth that comes from the cooked ones in this stew. If using canned, make sure the chickpeas are rinsed and drained. In place of the broth, 2-3 tablespoons of water should suffice.