|Created for us by Lindsey Dickson of The Eating Tree this delicious North African inspired stew is great way to use our Red Haricot Beans (dried or canned) and as Lindsey says, it's brilliant for dinner or for breakfast.|
This is my version of a North African stew that is traditionally made with mallow leaves.
In the part of Suffolk where I live Malva sylvestris, or common mallow, is considered a nuisance, self-seeding wherever it likes in the wild and well-tended herbaceous borders alike.
Personally, I am of the view that a weed is just a plant in the wrong place. I love its cheery mauve flowers mingling with the bright red of the poppies in the field opposite my house at the height of summer. The leaves are indeed edible, great for thickening stews, and the liquid from the boiled roots can be used as a substitute for egg whites.
However, it is the leaves of the Jute or Jew’s Mallow (Corchorus olitorius) which would be called for in the original recipe. Although this highly nutritious ‘Egyptian spinach’ is cultivated widely in Egypt, Syria and parts of India, not unsurprisingly it is impossible to find in my local farm shop.
To make matters easier I have used two vegetables which I know and love and happen to have growing in abundance in my vegetable patch.
If you have difficulty sourcing Swiss chard, use just spinach.
The finished stew can be eaten hot with the delicious sauce soaked up with some flat bread. I even like it cold for breakfast.
Preparation time: 30 mins (and an 8 hours soak for dry beans) | Cooking time: 2 hours | Total time: 2 hours 30 mins
Serves: 2 - 4
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