This chickpea cauliflower stew is delicious, filling, quick and easy to make, and suitable for a lot of different diets.
One of the things I love about staying in a home rather than a hotel when traveling is the opportunity to cook with ingredients you don’t find at home. And even if you make the exact same food you cook at home, it tastes different in every location, since the ingredients are not identical. My tortilla rollups is an excellent example – they never taste better than they do in California, with local salsa and avocados (oh, California avocados! The best in the world!). When I lived in Sweden, we used Ajvar relish (sometimes also spelled Ayvar), a red bell pepper-based condiment from Serbia, all the time, but when I first came to the US, it wasn’t available in any of the grocery stores in my area. These days, you can find it at Whole Foods, but it is the original recipe, and unfortunately for me, the original ajvar has eggplant, which I used to be able to eat but am now allergic to. So I was really excited when I found Granny’s Secret ajvar, which doesn’t have eggplant but is still super delicious! The packaging is really nice too (the glass bottle / jar addict that I am, these are keepers!), they have even won awards for it. The company is in the UK, and I have not been able to find this brand in the stores where I live, but I have found one online shop here in the US that sells it: Parthenon Foods. You can use this stuff in and on so many things – on its own as a spread, in stews, on pizza, anything really, and this is a dish I came up with one night in Sweden last summer when I was craving ajvar. It is super easy, really fast and (if I may say so) delicious! Once you get everything in the pot, you can just relax with a glass of wine and wait for it to be done. I love spicy food, and my version has a little bit of a bite to it, but not so much that makes you sweat or dulls your tastebuds. And since we’re using two types of ajvar, you can adjust the spiciness to the level you like. It’s a hearty dish, and I paired it with a nice, luscious cabernet sauvignon, which I thought was perfect.