Sunday, November 15, 2009

Groundnut Stew w/ Kale + Sweet Potatoes

It has been a veritable kale storm around here lately. We love it, and it has been coming to us in abundance from our Whitton Farms CSA. This soup features kale two ways, braised and fried, along with sweet potatoes in a mash-up of more than a few African culinary traditions.

I got the idea from Burt Wolf's show about how much American foodways borrow traditions from Africa. He noted that it was widely believed in the United States that peanuts, native to Africa, were poisonous before being heralded as health food and, believe it or not, a good alternative to meat.

1 onion (diced)
2 inch piece of fresh ginger (microplaned)
4 cups vegetable broth
4 tablespoons peanut butter (chunky kind)
6 cups kale (chopped)
6 cloves garlic (minced)
1 large sweet potato (medium dice)
1 can red beans (rinsed)
salt & pepper (to taste)
cayenne pepper (to taste)
olive oil
1 tablespoon harissa (North African spice paste)
Sweat onion and ginger in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Once the onion starts to brown, add the broth. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender.

(You can find harrissa at natural foods markets or international food markets in your area. It is a wonderful, spicy paste with hints of clove and cinnamon.)

I served this with Israeli cous-cous and fried kale. Toss any big pieces of curly kale in a tablespoon of olive oil, and then stick it into a 350 degree oven until they are crispy -- it'll take less than 10 minutes. The result is super-cool: kale chips!


brassfrog said...

This hasn't worked in the past using name/URL

brassfrog said...

I lived in West Africa for a time and my all-time favorite dish was groundnut stew. They'd take a cut up chicken and cook it with palm oil and pounded groundnuts (think PB) and LOTS of hot pepper. They'd serve it over fufu (super-sticky giant lumps like library paste made from fermented cassava). You'd swallow lumps of fufu whole because to chew was to glue your jaws shut. Delicious.

Kymma said...

Justin, where did you get your harissa in Memphis? Thanks!

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

I found some at World Market when they were going out of business, and I have also gotten it at Williams-Sonoma. I'd be willing you could also find it at the Mediterranean Market on Park Ave or at the Viet Hoa on Cleveland.