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Ikarian longevity stew

Rob Hobson
Article written by Rob Hobson

Date published 23 November 2021

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A savoury pot of stew infused with the flavours of Ikaria, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, this is a simple dish with simple ingredients, drizzled with olive oil. Some believe that this dish contributes to the incredible longevity of Ikarian residents.

Ikarian stew in a bowl


Serves 4

Total time 2h 30m

  • 225g black eyed beans
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • Handful of chopped dill, to garnish
  1. Place the black eyed beans in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil, boil for 1 minute then remove from the heat, cover and let sit for 1 hour. Drain and rinse and place into a bowl for use.
  2. Heat half the olive oil over a medium heat and cook the onion, garlic, fennel and carrots, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the black eyed beans and toss to coat in the oil.
  3. Add the tomato, tinned tomatoes and bay leaves and enough water to cover the beans by about an inch, then bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until the black eyed beans are about halfway cooked (check after 40 minutes, but it may take over an hour.)
  4. Add the tinned chickpeas and most of the chopped dill, and season with salt.
  5. Continue cooking until the black-eyed peas are tender. Remove, pour in the remaining olive oil and dill and serve in bowls with some bread for mopping up the juices.

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Rob Hobson

About Rob Hobson

Rob Hobson MSc RNutr is an award-winning registered nutritionist (AFN) and sports nutritionist (SENR) with over 15 years of experience. He founded London-based consultancy RH Nutrition, and has degrees in nutrition, public health nutrition and sports nutrition.