Vegetarian Chorizo with spicy cabbage & chickpea stew

Veggie chorizo

Happy Columbus day, everybody!! Of all the holidays that make you go, “Really? We’re celebrating that?” this might be the most questionable. He wasn’t even the first European; he didn’t actually discover anything, because people already lived in his “new world”; he wasn’t in North America. And, by all accounts (including his) he was horribly brutal and cruel. But we’ve heard about all of that, so I won’t go on and on. In this present day that we presently live in day-to-day, I feel perplexed many-a-time by the things that we, as a society, value and reward, and this holiday suggests that we have a history of curiously misplaced admiration.

And yet, I like to think about a world – that day to this – in which we celebrate the things we discover that are different from the things we know. We share the things we love, and the things that sustain us. We don’t feel superior or try to change people, or make them speak our language or eat our food, or celebrate our god. We share our knowledge, our art, our music, our food. I’ve said it before…I’m fascinated by the way that foods have traveled the world. The Spanish brought empanadas and various spices and stews everywhere they went, but they adjusted the recipes according to the ingredients available in their new home. This meal is actually a testament to that. Some version of spicy sausage to go with a stew of beans and vegetables exists everywhere that people eat sausage. I wanted to try to make a vegetarian version of chorizo. And I thought of this vegetable chorizo as a sort of dumpling – the kind people traditionally cook in their stew. So I cooked the “sausage” in a spicy broth, and then I used that broth to make the stew, and then I cooked the “sausage” in butter. A strange meal, but I liked it. Full of flavors and weird ideas!

Here’s Burning Spear with Christopher Columbus

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