It has been a veeery long break. For some months I could barely enter the kitchen or open the fridge because it would make me even more nauseous. Maybe you have already guessed it – by mid May we should be one more here at Can Caramelo. Now I’ve been much better for a while, but I’m still more tired than usually and just don’t have the energy I used to have, which is why this post took so long to be written. In the beginning I couldn’t wait to tell everybody, but Sebastian wanted to tell his family in person and that had to be before the blog post, of course. And then the seemingly endless nausea began and even getting up from the sofa became a challenge. I was counting the days for the first trimester to be over as most women get a lot better by then. In principle, then the so-called honeymoon stage of pregnancy starts were you’re supposed to have a lot of energy and feel radiant and great in general. But the date passed and more days passed, days turned into weeks and it still wasn’t over. Around Christmas, at five months of pregnancy, the nausea slowly started to be less intense. I really hadn’t expected it to be so tough. As I hardly ever get sick or have any stomach problems, I somehow thought I would be one of those women experiencing very little pregnancy symptoms. But pregnancy doesn’t have to to anything with being sick and actually nauseas seem to be worse with a higher level of pregnancy hormones which is a sign for a healthy pregnancy. And even though it was hard – and still is sometimes -, it’s also an amazing experience feeling the body transform, accommodating a little human being growing inside.
And there will be even more changes this year. We recently decided to move out of Barcelona, not far away, but into a house with forest around and a little garden were I will be able to grow some fruits and vegetables and our little son will be able to play and lie on a blanket in the grass (probably with us napping on his side). It feels partly scary, so many changes, but essentially I’m very happy and looking forward to things to come. We will have a big kitchen! Breathe cleaner air! Take walks through the forest!
This recipe is made with green winter vegetables that are in season now which combine very well with the creaminess of the chickpea puree. Roasting the veggies with a little bit of maple syrup gives them a slight, but very addictive sweetness. I have repeated that a lot in the past weeks. The chickpea mash is adapted from Amy Chaplin’s cookbook “At home in the whole food kitchen” which came out last year and is one of those cookbooks you don’t only want to flip through the recipes, but really read it from beginning to end. The dill gives the chickpea mash a fresh note, very much to my taste. I also like that it is creamy and tasty, but something different from potato mash and maybe less filling.
- 1,5 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, or around 3 cups cooked, rinsed and drained chickpeas
- A piece of Kombu alga (optional, only if you cook you’re chickpeas yourself)
- A handful of fresh dill (optional)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 4 small artichokes
- 1 bunch of green asparagus
- 1,5 cups brussels sprouts
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- Some radicchio leaves, herbs, pink pepper corns, lemon slices, micro greens etc. for garnishing
Start by rinsing the chickpeas, cover them with fresh water and – if you chose to – add the piece of Kombu (which mineralizes the chickpeas and absorbs phytic acid and thus makes the chickpeas more digestible), bring to a boil and cook until soft. Drain, but don’t throw the cooking liquid (full of nutrients!). I use a pressure cooker for cooking legumes which saves time and makes them turn out softer than a normal pot. If you use cooked chickpeas, give them a thorough rinse, then drain. Add sea salt to taste, half a cup of cooking liquid (or water if using cooked chickpeas) and mash with a potato masher or an immersion blender. Add more liquid until reaching the desired texture. Adjust salt, add some freshly ground black pepper, chop the dill (reserving a few sprigs for garnishing) and combine with the chickpea mash.
While you’re cooking the chickpeas, prepare the vegetables. Start with trimming the artichokes. Cut off the stem and about 2cm (1 inch) of the top. Now cut off some of the outer leaves, you want to keep the maximum amount of artichoke, but get rid of the tough part so they will be tender after cooking (see the animation below). Clean the brussels sprouts and cut them in halves. Rinse and dry the asparagus, then cut into three parts.
You can steam the vegetables for around 3 min and then quickly roast them in a pan with 2 tbsp olive oil and the maple syrup or you can directly sautée everything in a pan (I have tried both and have no clear preference). If you do everything in the pan it should take something between 10-15 minutes until everything is tender, but not overcooked. The artichoke takes longest, so that should be the first thing in the pan. It might be a good idea to cover it for some minutes.
When the veggies and the chickpea mash are ready, spread some chickpea mash onto the plates, top with vegetables, garnish with micro greens, pink pepper, radicchio etc. and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.