Moroccan Asparagus and Spring Vegetable Ragout

Recipe adapted from: The Art of Simple Cooking, by Alice Waters


3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion or 2 smaller onions, diced
1 teaspoon minced green garlic or garlic
3 cups cooked chickpeas
3 cups chickpea cooking liquid
A pinch of saffron, ground
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup chopped preserved lemon (optional)
1 carrots, cut into 1/8-inch coins
1/2 lb. spinach, washed and drained
1 cup snap peas, ends and strings removed, cut in half lengthwise or 1 cup shelled sweet peas
3/4 lb. asparagus, trimmed and peeled, cut into 1-inch slices


Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and a bit of salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring often. When soft but not browned, add the chickpeas, the chickpea liquid, all the spices and the preserved lemon, if using. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and add the peas and spinach. Simmer for 5 more minutes and add more liquid if needed. Drop in the asparagus and remove from heat. Serve immediately over couscous or other grain!