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Gillian Hegarty’s Chickpea, Swiss Chard and Tomato Stew

Gillian Hegarty of Ballymaloe House originally brought this recipe from Rose Grey and Ruth Rogers from the River Café.

serves 6 - 8

175g (6oz) dried chickpeas, soaked overnight

1 large garlic clove, peeled

6 tablespoons (7 1/2 American tablespoons) olive oil

1 red onion, peeled and sliced

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces

900g (2lb) Swiss chard leaves, washed and large stems removed (set aside to use in the recipe)

1 head of celery outer stalks removed peeled and diced finely

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 dried chillies, crumbled

3 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped

2 teaspoons of fresh picked thyme leaves

225ml (8fl oz/1 cup) white wine

2 tablespoons (2 1/2 American tablespoons) tomato sauce

3 handfuls flat leaf parsley chopped

extra virgin olive oil

Drain the chickpeas and place in a saucepan with water to cover, add the garlic, and 1 tablespoon (1 American tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) of olive oil. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for 45 minutes or until tender. Keep in their liquid until ready to use. Blanch the chard leaves and chop coarsely. Chop the chard stalks into half inch pieces.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, add the onion and fry for a minute then season with salt and pepper. Put the lid on and cook for a further 20 minutes stirring frequently until they have completely collapsed.

Add the carrot, chard stalks and celery cook slowly for 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Season with salt, pepper and chilli. Add the garlic and thyme leaves. Cook for a further 5 mins with the lid off.   Pour in the wine and reduce almost completely. Add the tomato sauce and reduce until very thick. Add the chickpeas and mix. Season and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the chopped chard leaves at the very end to retain the colour and freshness.

Chop the parsley just before you are about to serve, Stir  into the chickpeas, Drizzle with about 3 tablespoons (4 American tablespoons) of  extra virgin olive oil.

This is a recipe by
Darina Allen
View all my recipes

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