RECIPE: Garbanzo Stew with Collards and Winter Squash

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This is a meal-in-one recipe I’ve been making — and modifying — for nearly 25 years. I first had it at a friend’s house on Halloween night, after we took our young children trick-or-treating. I was still new, back then, to cooking with Indian spices, and I thought this dish was the most delicious thing I’d ever eaten. All these years later, I continue to make it several times a year, but I particularly like making it in winter, when I can still use squash, onions, and garlic harvested the previous summer and stored in my cool basement, along with collard greens that remain growing in my garden throughout the winter unless there’s a severe freeze. It’s a meal that can be made in advance and quickly reheated, and the recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd.

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RECIPE: Garbanzo Stew with Collards and Winter Squash


  • Author: Laura D. Roosevelt
  • Yield: Serves 3 to 4 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups peeled butternut or other winter squash, cut in 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground chili
  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger root, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, or 23 medium fresh tomatoes, chopped, juices reserved
  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 medium bunch collard greens or kale, stems removed, leaves chopped into bite-sized pieces, or one 5-ounce bag baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (leaves and stems), plus more cilantro leaves for garnish
  • Cooked rice or quinoa for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375℉. In a medium bowl, mix the diced squash with the olive oil and salt until evenly coated. Spread the squash in a single layer on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir and turn over the pieces, then return to the oven. Roast 15 to 20 minutes more, until the squash is easily pierced with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or a frying pan with high sides and a lid, sauté the onions and garlic in the ghee on medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the turmeric, garam masala, chili powder, and ginger, then add the tomatoes (and reserved juice, if using fresh).
  3. Remove half the garbanzos and purée them with yogurt in a food processor or blender until smooth. Stir them into the tomato-onion mixture, along with the whole beans. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low. If using chopped collard greens, place them on top, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, stir the greens (now wilted) into the stew. If the stew seems too thick, add a little water. Replace the lid and simmer for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cilantro, roasted squash, and baby spinach (if using). Taste, and add a little salt if needed.
  5. Serve over cooked rice or quinoa. Garnish with the cilantro leaves.

Notes

There is salt in canned garbanzo beans and in canned tomatoes. Therefore, the only additional salt I use in this recipe is a pinch stirred into the squash before roasting.

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Laura Roosevelt
Laura Roosevelt
Laura D. Roosevelt is a journalist and poet who lives in West Tisbury, and is currently at work on a memoir. “When it comes to kindling, my current favorite fire starter is the dried stalks from last year’s garlic harvest.”
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