2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 pound crimini mushrooms (about 16-20), halved
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 can chickpeas (15 ounces), drained
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 can diced tomatoes in puree (28 ounces)
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
Potato and Cheese Pancakes:
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or vegetable oil, for frying
2 pounds all-purpose potatoes, such as Russet variety (about 3 large potatoes), peeled and shredded
1 small onion, grated
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 ounces smoked Gouda cheese (1 1/4 cups), shredded
In a medium pot over moderate heat, sauté garlic and mushrooms in EVOO for 2-3 minutes. Add zucchini and onion to the pot and season vegetables with salt and pepper. Sauté another 5 minutes. Add chickpeas, cumin, tomato and chopped rosemary. Bring stew to a bubble, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a thin layer of EVOO or vegetable oil to the pan, just enough to coat the bottom. Combine potatoes with onions and flour. Mix in shredded cheese. Spoon piles of potato and cheese mixture into the pan, making 3-inch rounds, one inch apart. Cook cakes until golden and crispy, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove cooked cakes and repeat process.
Arrange cakes, three per person, on dinner plates and top with ladles of mushroom and zucchini stew.