Nourishing and delicious, this Moroccan-Style Chickpea & Chard Stew is quick to make when having cans of chickpeas on hand. The chermoula sauce gives this dish an aromatic freshness. Chermoula is very similar... to the salsa verde prevalent in Hispanic cooking. Given the history of Spain, it is not surprising that North African cuisine should be the origin of this delicious sauce. Make a large batch to freeze for future use. It’s great tossed with steamed vegetables.
First make the chermoula: In a blender, add the oil, salt, garlic, paprika, black peppercorns, cumin, turmeric, and 2 tablespoons broth to moisten. Blend. Add the cilantro and parsley. Blend until a rough paste is formed. Add broth or water as necessary to loosen the paste. Set aside.
Begin the stew by adding the wet chard leaving into a hot pan, covered, until they have wilted. Drain, coarsely chop and set aside. Dice the chard stems and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over a medium high heat. Add the onion, dried chili, red pepper, diced chard stems and thyme. Fry until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the reserved chermoula sauce, chickpeas, and ½ cup of broth. Cook until the onions are soft.
Add the tomatoes, steamed chard, lemon zest, and ¼ cup of broth. Turn heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in remaining cilantro, and serve.