Dinner

By Laura Ratliff and Ryan Smith | November 22, 2011

Sometimes you just need a rib-sticker, you know? You know what I’m talking about; the kind of meal where just one bowl can keep you full or warm in the frigid air for hours, and yet you still can’t resist going back for leftovers.

Ryan and I had one of those last week in the form of a hearty cauliflower and chickpea stew with couscous.

Cauliflower has been a staple for us over the past few weeks since it’s in season, and we’re always big fans of chickpeas and the whole tomatoes that made up the stew’s sauce.

While I normally steer away from anything canned in the house, San Marzano tomatoes are our go-to for stews and sauces. The tang and fresh flavor satisfies that tomato craving even when the late summer heirlooms are long gone. Ryan loves the whole San Marzano tomatoes and could admittedly eat an entire can of them on their own, but I knew this dish was a winner when he kept going back for bowls of the tender cauliflower and chickpeas. Combined with fresh spinach from Satur Farms on Long Island and salty, protein-rich chickpeas, it’s pretty to easy to see why this was a filling meal.

We’ve unintentionally been posting a lot of vegetarian recipes lately (very fitting for this month), but I really hadn’t even noticed until writing this post-even the vegetarian recipes we cook are so filling that you won’t miss the meat. This stew is no exception.

I’m embarrassed to admit that we had no leftovers! We ate part of the batch for lunch and the remainder for a cozy weekend dinner-but I imagine that a day of flavors melding in the fridge would only make this stew even better. Nevertheless, it’s great fall meal that will keep you full, even if you don’t keep coming back for more!

Adapted from RealSimple

Photos by Laura Ratliff

Laura Ratliff and Ryan Smith are the authors of Smith & Ratliff, a New York City-based lifestyle blog. They write about food, cocktails, art, style and life in New York City. Follow them on Twitter: @smithratliff

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 28-oz can whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 head cauliflower , cored and cut into small florets
  • 1 5-oz package baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup couscous

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to soften, 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Add the cumin, chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute.

3. Add the tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you add them, and their liquid, chickpeas, cauliflower, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Fold in the spinach and cook until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, place the couscous in a large bowl. Add 1 cup of hot tap water, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve with the stew.

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