Careful readers of this blog will know that I have sort of a thing for Deborah Madison, the renowned vegetarian cookbook author. As evidenced by the numerous rib posts lately, clearly I am not a vegetarian. I just like to make this woman's food. Deborah's cooking is different than my cooking. She keeps the elements of her dishes simple. She has a light hand with spices and doesn't use too many flavors in one recipe. When I cook her recipes and follow them as directed, the resulting dish is refined and somewhat elegant, even her rustic dishes. I feel as if someone else has cooked a very fine plate of food for me and I was just the instrument though which it arrived (profound, I know). It is kind of like french food. I can appreciate french food but the french way of flavoring doesn't come natural to me so I really only eat it in restaurants. Deborah Madison's food has a lovely delicate quality about it, but conversely, it fun to recreate at home.
This is Garbanzo, Spinach and Tomato stew, a very simple dish. I have made this stew many times before and we really like it. The vegetables are cooked with onion, garlic, paprika and red pepper flakes. I know the name of the dish does not sound all that appealing. But it comes off spicy good. All the flavors work well together and the beans make it very satisfying. I served it over couscous to absorb all the flavorful juices. Today, it is made with red swiss chard instead of spinach. The red chard's color really charged up the red in the stew to look like cherry pie filling. I just never knew I could be happy with a simple dinner of vegetable stew but Deborah showed me the way.