Was it worth the wait?
I printed out the recipe for Spinach Peanut Stew in 2004 from the New York Times website. I have the time stamp on the bottom of the page. I just tried to Google it and couldn't find a link, that's how far this recipe has slipped off the radar (Hey! we found it - link above). I didn't cook it until May 2013. Was it worth the wait?
I have gone through my binder of NYT recipes several times and pulled out the ones that obviously looked interesting at the time but in the cold, hard light of what I can really accomplish, did not make the cut. The binder is already overstuffed as it is, I have to be a cruel editor from time to time. Even after all those recipe purges, the spinach-peanut stew always made it though. It was just too interesting. It reminded me of a groundnut stew I had at a dinner party many years ago that still haunts my tastebuds. And, I swear I did not keep it as some sort of aspirational cooking thing, where I would make this once and then claim that I make African cuisine all the time.
In an amazing concurrence of ingredients, I had everything I needed for the stew in the house at the same time: exactly ten ounces of spinach from our garden and the CSA, fresh tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, and plenty of peanuts and peanut butter and other things. The time had come. It came together nicely but definitely needed some extra water during the simmering phase. They said stew would be thick and they were not kidding. I served this dense slab of vegetables with a side of quinoa. So...
Well, I had to go on other people's reactions. I had an upset stomach that day that put me off of dinner. So, it tasted...ok. However, when I had it few days later being more in the pink of health, I had to agree that it was pretty good. Very rich and good to serve in small portions but pretty good. Definitely interesting.
There are groundnut/spinach peanut stew recipes all over the inter-googles. Go forth and cook one and see what new things vegetables can do.
NYTimes.com - Spinach Peanut Stew
Wikipedia.com - Maafe (Groundnut Stew)