It’s World Pulses Day, a global celebration of beans, and you know how excited I get about beans. For starters, beans offer simple abundance. They’ve been the backbone of every culture and cuisine from Boston to Barcelona, adding inexpensive oomph to dishes and providing us with deep, satisfying sustenance.
Since I’m just I’m back from Spain, I had to remake this plant-based riff on the Catalan classic fabada Asturiana (pork and bean stew). I’d first made it for a party. Everyone asked for seconds, no one could believe it was vegan. A sofrito (easy sauté) of tomato, onions, garlic and spices builds flavor and replaces the animal products. The addition of saffron is traditional and brilliant, adding an earthy richness.
Making this dish from dried chickpeas results in a truly sumptuous and satisfying dish. The beans are more tender than canned and absorb all the spices and aromatics. Serve with crusty whole grain bread, roasted vegetables or a green salad and you’ll never miss the meat.
It keeps covered and refrigerated for the better part of a week and the flavors continue to deepen.