chickpeas

This isn’t a recipe that I would have been excited by before my “Veganist” epiphany. Nancy Harmon Jenkins’ dish relies on Spanish chorizo. I’ve yet to find vegetarian chorizo so made due with Tofurkey brand Italian sausage. To make the olive oil redden, I added a bit of sweet paprika. (In the full on meat version, the chorizo has the paprika inside, which imparts a reddish color as it cooks.

Spanish-style chickpeas with spinach and veggie sausage

Spanish-style chickpeas with spinach and veggie sausage

I like Jenkins’ book, The Essential Mediterranean, a great deal. The recipes are often familiar, though like this one, many are new to me. She structures the text a bit differently in that after the intro, each section has a long and rather engaging discussion of the main ingredients for that section, including their history in European cuisine and her own personal anecdotes. So the book is practical and yet like an educational travelogue all at once. Sort of blog-like really…

I had already prepared my dried chickpeas so diverged a bit from her instruction here. I don’t think that it made too much difference. Next time I think that I shall try a different type of veggie sausage. The texture and taste weren’t quite what I’d hoped. Nevertheless, the recipe itself is sound.

Spanish-style chickpeas with spinach and veggie sausage

2 cups prepared chickpeas
2 medium onions, both peeled, one left whole, the other chopped
3 bay leaves
Small bunch of Italian parsley
4 tbsp olive oil
1 lb baby spinach
3 cloves garlic
1 package of veggie sausage of your choice, cut into bite-sized rounds
1 tsp paprika
Salt and black pepper to taste
Water

Begin by placing chickpeas into a medium pot with the whole peeled onion, bay leaves, parsley, some salt to taste and enough water to just immerse them. Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes to flavor them. Remove and discard onion, parsley, and bay leaves. Reserve some of the cooking water and drain the rest.

Add olive oil, chopped onion and garlic to a hot skillet with a pinch of salt. Sauté for a few minutes until onion starts to get tender then add sliced veggie sausage and paprika. Cook for a few minutes. Add chickpeas with a bit of reserved water. Heat through. Add spinach and black pepper. After spinach just wilts, adjust flavors and serve.

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Spring is racing by and asparagus are plentiful right now here in sunny Northern California. But it won’t last. This is the time of year when this beautiful vegetable tastes best. It is true that nowadays one can buy any vegetable or fruit basically whenever but the difference is in taste and in the size of the carbon footprint. I am always dubious about veggies that arrive at my table following intercontinental flights. They’re often as flavorful as cardboard. I’m not impressed. We’re better off eating seasonal and local ingredients as much as possible.

roasted asparagus and chickpeas with toasted sesame oil, Meyer lemon and fresh mint

roasted asparagus and chickpeas with toasted sesame oil, Meyer lemon and fresh mint

Speaking of local I’m thinking of planting some asparagus in our community garden plot. The reason I didn’t before is that our last plot was a bit too small. Asparagus plants take about two years to produce and you can’t rotate crops in the area where they’re grown. A couple of the other community gardeners have them growing in their plots. It’s cool to watch the spears shooting out from the ground in springtime. Left alone, they grow into big wispy bushes: very interesting and even decorative. If I do it now, maybe in a couple years I can make this salad again with asparagus grown on Potrero Hill, just a few blocks away. Now that’s very local!

This recipe is so good that it can’t wait. I like the combination of legume and vegetable here. The flavors that the Meyer lemon, sesame oil and mint impart to the dish are singular: smoky, herby and slightly tart. You can serve this dish either warm or at room temperature as a main dish with a green salad or as a side dish to go with anything really. I’ve adapted it from asparagus recipes.

key ingredients for roasted asparagus and chickpeas with toasted sesame oil, Meyer lemon and fresh mint

key ingredients for roasted asparagus and chickpeas with toasted sesame oil, Meyer lemon and fresh mint

roasted asparagus and chickpeas with toasted sesame oil, Meyer lemon and fresh mint

2 bunches of asparagus, rinsed, dried, each spear cut into 3 pieces
3½ cups prepared chickpeas, drained (canned is okay)
4 tbsp olive oil
¾ tbsp toasted sesame oil
Kosher salt to taste
~ 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Several fresh mint leaves, chopped
Juice of 2 Meyer lemons
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon

Pre-heat the oven to 450F.

Place asparagus, chick peas, sesame and olive oils, salt and black pepper in a bowl and toss to combine. Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Roast for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and toss. Position rack closer to grill, return to oven and continue roasting for an additional 5-8 minutes. This will allow for some of the chickpeas and asparagus pieces to brown. Remove from oven and let it cool for about 5 minutes. Toss in lemon juice, lemon zest , mint and serve!

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I adapted this marvelous garbanzo bean recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Plenty.

sautéed chickpeas with Swiss chard, spinach and labneh sauce

sautéed chickpeas with Swiss chard, spinach and labneh sauce

I like so many things about Ottolenghi’s book: plenty of them. In particular, from reading and trying out his flavorful recipes, I realize now that unknowingly we’ve been using principles from and eating PLENTY at home all along. Ottolenghi focuses my attention on the process and the order in which ingredients are added or combined to a dish to maximally preserve the individual flavor and freshness of each, while combining harmoniously in a final dish that will taste even better. Here the aromas and volatile components present in herbs such as mint and cilantro, and the powerful presence of garlic all play their individual roles, adding layers of complexity to this meal. I feel I am acting sort of like one of the Iron Chefs today, trying awkwardly to explain myself to the panel of celebrity judges. Yet in a simple dish made with ingredients as prosaic as beans sometimes you truly can find poetry.

sautéed chickpeas with Swiss chard, spinach and labneh sauce

6 cups cooked chickpeas
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
6 medium sized carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks
2 bunches rainbow Swiss chard
2 cups pre washed spinach leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tbsp fresh mint, julienned
2 tbsp cilantro, julienned
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

for the labneh sauce:

¾ cup labneh
Water
Kosher salt
Olive oil

Wash Swiss chard in lots of water. Separate stalks from leaves. Cut stalks into ½ inch segments. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop the Swiss chard stalks in, cover and cook for a couple of minutes. Add chard leaves and cook for a couple of minutes more. Add spinach leaves in the last 30 seconds. Drain.

Add half of the olive oil to a sauce pan on high heat. Next add cumin seeds followed by the carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes. The olive oil will get tinted orange from carrot and the air will be infused with the scent of cumin.

Add chick peas, chard and spinach, give it a good stir. Cook for about 8 minutes. In the last minute of cooking add garlic, cilantro, mint, salt, pepper and the rest of the olive oil. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust flavors if needed. Transfer to a serving platter

To make the labeneh sauce, place labeneh in a bowl, add about 1/3 cup of water and whisk until it reaches the consistency of a thick yogurt. Add salt, pepper and olive oil to taste. Spoon it over the chick peas and serve.

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chickpea soup with rosemary

by Stevie on November 17, 2011

chickpea soup with rosemary

chickpea soup with rosemary

This incredible recipe comes from the new David Rocco cookbook, Made in Italy. We’d not heard of this stylish Italian chef until Hegui happened across his gorgeous cookbook in a shop in Healdsburg while we were wine tasting that weekend. Apparently he’s a Food Network star for their Canadian outlet. There’re tons of videos from the show on U-tube. Here’s one:

I like the food and the excitement that Rocco brings to the subject. Can’t wait for his show to come out in the U.S. For now, we’ll just have to content ourselves with these yummy recipes.

I basically followed his but used more chickpeas. Mine were a mix of canned and dried that I rehydrated, though in the book it calls only for canned. The taste was superb. Too bad the soup, unlike the celebrity chef, isn’t especially photogenic.

chickpea soup with rosemary

4 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 cups chickpeas
Salt and black pepper to taste
Water to taste
Parmigiano-Reggiano and more olive oil to finish

Sauté diced onion and rosemary in olive oil until onions start to turn golden. Add chickpeas, salt and pepper. Add water to your taste. I made my soup a little watery. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Use a stick blender to mash some of the chickpeas and onion to thicken the soup. Cook about 15 minutes. Serve warm and finish with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and some olive oil.

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I was lacking cooking inspiration the other day so ended up browsing the web for ideas. I bumped into this really cool blog, weirdcombinations, and got my groove back. What caught my attention was a recipe for rice-stuffed peppers and another one for a salt codfish dish. It turned out I had all the ingredients available at home, plus, even better than them, a whole lot of freshly cooked chickpeas! 😉

black hummus and saffron rice-stuffed poblano and sweet bell peppers with salt cod topping

black hummus and saffron rice-stuffed poblano and sweet bell peppers with salt cod topping

So, back to reality. This dish is more about re-arranging things in new ways, thus making you feel you are having something surprisingly novel, yet comfortably familiar. I made this for Steven and Juanita recently. We all loved it.

black hummus and saffron rice-stuffed poblano and sweet bell peppers with salt cod topping

for the black hummus:

2 cup cooked chickpeas plus some of the juices
4 cloves garlic
kosher salt if needed
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

To prepare the black hummus, add all the above ingredients into the food processor and process to make a smooth paste.

Make full recipe for poblano and red bell peppers stuffed with saffron rice, found here. Stuff peppers with some black hummus followed by the rice. Then bake as directed in the master recipe.

Make half-recipe for the salt cod portion of salt cod with chickpea puree on Texas toast, found here. Hold the chickpeas and the toast.

To serve, place peppers on a dish then top with salt cod. Voilá!

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chole masala

by Heguiberto on August 9, 2010

This recipe comes from a blogger who recently visited weirdcombinations for the first time. Prerna cooks easy-to-make Indian food which she publishes on her blog, Indian Simmer. Her recipes and pictures look amazing! Inspired, I made this chickpea curry masala adapted from her blog the other day. I ended up adding a few things that just happened to be here. Her recipe didn’t call for left-over pico de gallo, for example. It tasted divine! I was reminded of this other chana recipe that I made in the past. Yet today’s was completely different because of the spice combinations.

chole masala

We had this with Indian style chili pickle as a condiment.

chole masala

2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
1 red onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic
2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
5 tbsp freshly ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 jalapeño pepper, minced, seed and ribs partially removed
¼ tsp chili pepper powder
1 tbsp curry powder
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cups canned tomato chunks with juice
½ cup pico de gallo salsa (optional)
3 roasted tomato halves
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Kosher salt

Place onion, garlic and ginger in the food processor and pulse until a thick and uniform purplish paste is formed. Pour oil in a non-stick pan. Add onion-ginger-garlic paste and cook for about 10-12 minutes in medium heat stirring constantly. It is ready when the smell in the kitchen has gone from harsh to mellow & sweet. Don’t caramelize the paste however. Next, bring the temperature up, add turmeric powder, chili powder, ground coriander, curry powder and stir until it turns into a thicker paste.

Meanwhile place tomato chucks, salsa and roasted tomato halves in the food processor and pulse a few seconds to combine. Fold tomato mixture into paste. Add chickpeas (chana). Stir. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chopped cilantro and serve over rice. Yumm!

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