The origin and etymology of word "Zimino" is kind of controversial and unclear. It could have been born in Genoa or be of Arab origin, but it does not matter because the meaning of zimino in almost all areas of Italy where it is cooked, is a soup based on vegetables or fish or the dish seasoned with this sauce, a way to prepare the beans, etc..
As per the tradition of Ligurian foody, zimino is poor cuisine; one of the most famous course with this procedure are certainly the chickpeas in zimino. Historically, chickpea zimino was mainly consumed by those who performed heavy work, such as the “camallo” (porter at the harbor), the fisherman or the sailor, with the need to be digestible, not heavy but capable of providing all the energy necessary for this type of physical activity. But even those who do more conceptual job certainly appreciate this delicate but tasty dish, which heats up on cold winter evenings.
Recipe for chickpea zimino for 4 people:
- 500 g of dried chickpeas left in the water overnight
- chopped onion, carrot and sedate,
- a clove of garlic,
- 450 g of chard beet,
- 20 g of mushrooms (preferably porcini) dried,
- 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce,
- Extra virgin olive oil
Once the chickpeas are left in water for the right time (minimum 20 hours), boil them and salt at the last. Also bring the mushrooms to the boiling water, drain and chop them. Important: save the chickpea cooking water and the filtered mushroom water.
Wash and cut the chard into strips.
Pan seared the chopped carrot, celery and onion, along with the garlic clove; add the mushrooms and immediately after the tomato sauce.
Cook everything for about 15 minutes.
After the minutes add the chickpeas and beets, sauté for 5 minutes and add a little mushroom water according to your taste and the cooking water of the previously boiled chickpeas: decide the quantity of liquid based on how much you like liquid the soup. Cook everything for another thirty minutes.
At the end of cooking, if necessary, add salt and your zimino is ready. If you like, add a little raw oil and pepper.