Smoky, spicy, and subtly sweet, this harissa fig and chickpea stew combines all of our favorite flavors into one sweet and savory dish.
While I have used figs in savory salads or roasted them with grains, I have never thought to use them as a sweet accompaniment to a savory stew.
When I saw a recipe for a Moroccan lamb stew with figs in the stew, I knew I wanted to try a vegetarian version.
This vegetarian fig stew combines smoky, fiery harissa with aromatics and freshly chopped tomatoes along with subtly sweet figs.
How to make harissa fig and chickpea stew:
This recipe is a breeze and you’re going to absolutely love the flavor profile in this!
First, start the aromatics. Sauté onion and then add celery. Next, add garlic and then the harissa paste. Once the harissa paste is very fragrant, add chopped tomatoes and toss until coated. Once the tomatoes begin to soften, add the chickpeas and water and bring everything to a boil.
Add in all but a few figs, cover it and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. That’s literally the entire recipe! But I promise you, the flavors are so delicious that it will taste as if the stew cooked for hours.
As a garnish, I reserved a few figs and tossed them with extra virgin olive oil, fresh mint, lemon juice and zest, and a pinch of salt.
How to get creative with this recipe:
- If you don’t have fresh figs, try this recipe with dry figs, apricots, or golden raisins!
- Play with garnishes! Try it with fresh pomegranate seeds, toasted almonds, or freshly minced parsley.
- Serve it with a carb or grain of your choice! Try this with cooked couscous, warm farro, or even piled on top of cooked rice.
Looking for more vegetarian recipes? Check my archives!
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Harissa Fig and Chickpea Stew
- Wide pot
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 3 ribs celery trimmed and diced
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons harissa paste more or less to taste, depending on preference
- 1½ pounds fresh tomatoes chopped; or use 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 15 ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 2 cups water or vegetable stock
- 2 pints fresh figs 4 figs reserved for garnish
- 4 scallions minced; for garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 reserved figs quartered
- .5 ounces mint leaves torn
- ½ lemon juiced and zested
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch flaky sea salt
Cook the aromatics:
- Heat the oil in a wide pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes until it just begins to soften. Add the celery and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until just fragrant.
Sizzle the harissa paste:
- Add the harissa to the aromatics and cook for 1 minute, lightly mashing the paste into the aromatics.
Cook the tomatoes:
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes and cook for 5-6 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the chickpeas and season liberally with salt and pepper.
Simmer the stew:
- While the tomatoes cook, halve all of the figs except the four reserved for garnish.
- Pour 2 cups of water or stock into the stew and bring to a boil. Add the halved figs and then reduce heat, cover, and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Taste and season again to your preferences after the stew has simmered.
Prepare the garnish:
- In a bowl, combine the 4 reserved, quartered figs with the lemon juice and zest, mint leaves, and flaky salt. Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil and toss to combine. Set aside.
- Divide the stew between shallow bowls and garnish with the fresh figs and the minced scallions. Enjoy!