Chickpeas, risotto-style, with Chanterelles, Leeks, and Kale

A wonderfully healthy Autumn recipe. Some ingredients here will be hard to find, one impossible unless you are making it yourself (*), but do not get disheartened, just leave them out and cook on (quantities given will generously serve 4 as a main dish).

  • Chickpeas, 500 gr, soak in salted water overnight

Drain them and place in a big pot with a lot of water, lid on. Bring to a boil and de-foam with a slotted spoon. Replace lid and boil until soft and tender, at least 1 hour and maybe considerably more, depending on the supplier and quality. Drain, and keep 1/4 cup of the water, and the pot for later use.

  • Chanterelles, 100 gr

In a smoking hot non-stick pan, with no (if you trust the pan) or barely any oil, sear the mushrooms, batch by batch (you want, in each batch, just enough to coat the surface, you do not want them overlapping), for a few minutes, tossing around and remove to a tray. Reduce heat just a little, add some oil to the pan, and add:

  • Leeks, 3 pcs, cut in 1 cm round slices

Toss them around a few times, but allow them to slightly burn, it makes all the difference in the flavour. Remove pan with leeks from stove, and return the pot to the stove. Turn heat down a bit more, and use it to saute:

  • Onion, 1 medium pc, finely diced

  • Garlic, 1 big clove, finely diced

  • Turmeric root, grated (no need to peel, but wash well), 1 tbsp

Stir constantly so as not to burn the garlic (alternatively you can add it a bit later). You want them to soften a little bit, a few minutes should be enough. Deglaze the pan with:

  • A sweet wine, Marsala or Shaoxing, 1/4 cup

Turn heat up a bit and return chickpeas to the pot. Add:

  • Retained water from the chickpeas

  • Any stock (vegetable, chicken, beef, or even plain water), 1/2 cup - 1 cup (depending on the size of the pot, see note below)

  • Salt, to taste (at least 1/4 tsp)

  • Pepper, ground black, 1/2 tsp

  • Seared Chanterelles

  • Burnt Leeks

Allow to boil for a few minutes (around 5, stirring every now and then), to evaporate some of the liquid.

Note: Initially the liquid should reach just below the surface the chickpeas, this is not a soup, and at the end you want to barely be able to see it.

Reduce heat considerably and add:

  • Kale, thinly cut into strips, 2 cups

  • Preserved lemon skin (*), 2 tbsp, flesh removed, washed under water, and finely cut.

Give it a good stir, place lid on, and cook for 1 - 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning (salt). Optionally, off heat, add a knob of butter and stir well. Place in a big, deep platter and optionally sprinkle some:

  • Sumac

  • Fresh herbs

before serving.