“There’s not a THING in this house to eat!” I snap in frustration, pantry and refrigerator doors wide. This is hardly true, of course. My gaze travels over bottles of fancy vinegars, nut and olive oils, pasta, rice, flour, and various other staples. What I mean is that it’s the end of a long day in a series of long days, everyone is hungry, and what I want more than anything is to open the pantry or refrigerator door to find a fully prepared meal, already plated and garnished. Osso Buco maybe, with roasted root vegetables, creamy polenta, and a lively gremolata. I would not even turn my nose up at an exquisitely roasted chicken with crispy, crackly skin and a simple salad of dandelion greens with a tart meyer lemon vinaigrette. Nothing like that appears, however, and it will be another day before I receive fresh provisions from our farmers. I briefly contemplate going out for dinner, but all I really want are the comforts of home. A long bath, a good book, a glass of wine, a slow lazy evening, and a home-cooked dinner. The only flaw in my plan is that I will have to find inspiration somewhere and be the one to cook it. A well-stocked pantry and long-lived winter vegetables save the day. Within minutes, the house is filled with the scent of warm, toasted spices, and dinner simmers away, unsupervised, while I’m in the bath. Before the next person can ask “When’s dinner ready?” it magically is, and we all sit down together to talk about our day, to offer warmth and support to one another, to laugh and share and be comforted with the sustenance of home.
Sweet Potato & Chickpea Curry
2 large sweet potatoes
grapeseed or other neutral oil for sauteeing
1 onion, slivered
3 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
1″ piece fresh ginger, grated
1 T. brown mustard seeds
1-2 Tbs. tumeric
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 cups vegetable stock, or more as needed
2 c. cooked chickpeas
1/2 c. whole milk yogurt
salt to taste
small handful cilantro
Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Cut into 1″ chunks and set aside. In a large pot, saute onions, garlic, and ginger until onion begins to soften. Don’t let them brown. Add tumeric, mustard seeds, cumin, and coriander and saute until mustard seeds start to pop. Add sweet potatoes to the pan, and pour in vegetable stock just to cover. Add chopped tomatoes and chickpeas. Salt to taste and simmer, covered, until sweet potatoes are tender. Just before serving, stir in yogurt. Serve with hot basmati rice, garnished with cilantro.
Thanks again to generous farm members Viewers Like You for the use of their lovely kitchen!