I have had a packet of dried chickpeas in my pantry for months. A packet that i carried all the way home from Spain but never got around to cooking. Mostly because I forgot to soak them. They are big chickpeas – bigger than the ones we can buy in Ireland by far – I’d say double in size and delicious when cooked. It may sound mad to get excited about chickpeas but soaked overnight and cooked for 30 minutes they are ready to go, unctuous and creamy, which is quite something. The one’s we buy locally take three or four times as long to cook and are like little bullets.
It’s still the holiday season here and we have been valiantly making our way through our veg box which together with the pre-cooked chickpeas offered numerous possibilities for dinner. The winning dish was also a lazy dish. It didn’t take very much effort, more the availability to give the odd stir.
Take time sautéing the veg, they will become sweet and more flavoursome.
Chickpea Supper Pot with Almond and Basil Picada
1 onion – peeled and chopped
100mls olive oil
1 carrot – peeled and diced
1 small bulb fennel- sliced into skinny wedges
2 stems celery – diced
3 cloves garlic- peeled and chopped
2 ripe fat tomatoes or 1 can tomatoes – chopped
1 glass white wine (optional)
200mls chickpea liquor or water
2 bay leaves
a handful of parsley
salt and pepper
Heat a frying pan or skillet. Add the olive oil and the chopped onions, give them a stir and when they are sizzling season with a little salt. Stir in the fennel, celery, bay leaf and carrots, give a stir and when the veg are all sizzling season with a little salt then turn the heat to medium/low. Cook, stirring now and then, gently sizzling for ten minutes. Add the chopped garlic then continue cooking for five minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes and white wine, bring to the boil then turn to a simmer for ten minutes
Stir in the chickpeas and cook for a further ten minutes. Add a little chickpea cooking liquor or water if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped parsley
We ate this with a little picada/pesto to drizzle over and crusty bread
1 small slice bread, crusts removed and cubed
15-20 blanched almonds
1 clove garlic
small handful soft green herbs – I used basil but parsley or coriander would work too
Heat a small pan, add enough olive oil to cover the bottom and the bread cubes, fry until they begin to go golden then add the almonds. Cook for another couple of minutes.
Putvthe bread/almond mix in a processor together with a clove of garlic then buzz to a crumb.
Add the herbs then drizzle in enough olive oil to make the cicada move. Season with a pinch of salt