I’ll make something more special tonight, but in the meantime, here’s a dish that reminds me of a special meal we had on vacation long ago. We used to go to upstate New York every autumn, and we’d eat at a restaurant called The 1819 House. It was just our kind of place. They served something they called vegetarian paella, and we’ve been having different versions of it ever since. Here’s one version, which I call…vegetarian paella. And this new version has kale, chickpeas, artichoke hearts and olives, in a sweet/salty broth made with white wine, orange juice and tarragon. All of the flavors blend nicely, so you can’t tell where one begins and the other ends. As David said, you don’t really taste the orange, you just taste a sunny, summery flavor.
Here’s a version of Bob Marley’s Mellow Mood, which is our song!
2 T olive oil
1 shallot – finely diced
2 cloves garlic – minced
zest of half an orange
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup white wine
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 cup olives, pitted and chopped
2 t capers
1 cup cooked, chopped kale (Rinse in a large bowl, remove the stems, then boil in salted water for about ten minutes. Drain, let cool, chop)
1 T butter
1 T fresh tarragon, chopped
dash white wine vinegar
salt and plenty of pepper
Warm the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the shallots, garlic and orange zest. Once everything starts to turn brown, add the orange juice and white wine. Cook till it starts to thicken and get syrupy.
Add the chickpeas. Stir to coat. Add the capers, artichoke hearts and olives. Stir and cook for a minute or two. Add the kale. Stir and cook. Add about 2 or 3 cups of water, till it’s as brothy as you like it. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, till everything is cooked through.
Add the tarragon, butter and vinegar. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve! You can serve it over pasta, rice, or couscous, if you feel like it.