Chickpeas Four Ways

Last week, I cooked up the last my dried chickpeas, the bag I got at the Indian grocery in Lynnwood.  Don't know the name of the place and it's highly doubtful they have a website, but I'll still torture you by singing its praises.  Indian food is one cuisine I don't know much about.  If I had moved to a neighborhood with a big Indian population instead of Southeast Asian, that might be different.  So I've got some learning to do.  In the meantime, these dried chickpeas plumped up more than any I've ever cooked and I'm sad to see them go.

I've been on the bean train a lot lately, and a few of you have asked for more bean recipes.  I feel like chickpeas have been showing up everywhere in the blogosphere lately--the darling of the legume world.  I always have a couple cans in my pantry, but I don't really like the taste of canned chickpeas.  Ones I cook myself always taste infinitely better.  Don't you hate it when cooks and cookbooks say that sort of thing?  I do. It's like they're trying to make everything difficult.  I'm not trying to make things difficult.  If you pull out those cans I will still like you.

If you decide to go the long route though, buy some dried chickpeas.  Places with lots of turnover and bulk foods (like PFI or an Indian grocery) will turn up better ones than Safeway, but start where you can.  Soak them overnight.  The next day, put them in a slow cooker with some salt, and you can use them for dinner that night (and three nights thereafter, if you're me).  If you don't have a slow cooker, put them in your biggest stockpot, cover with a couple inches of water, bring to a boil, then simmer till they're done.  They'll probably take at least two hours.  This is a good thing to do on the weekend.  Especially when we have a rainy spell like we're having now, I immediately want to start simmering things in big pots.  You have not known me in soup season.  Watch out.

You can find the hummus recipe here (though I added a few tablespoons of tahini to this one).

For the bulgar salad, I mixed coarse cooked bulgar with chickpeas, some leftover grilled eggplant and zucchini, feta, and some slivered grean beans from the garden.  Plus olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and red chile flakes (I am so predictable).

The Toasted Chickpea salad is greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, griddled pita bread torn up, feta, and some cooked chickpeas that have been toasted in a hot cast iron skillet with salt and cumin seeds.

And here's the recipe for the Two Bean Salad.  Plant-Based Proteinly Yours,


Two Bean Salad with Hazelnuts and Parmesan
This makes enough to be part of an antipasti dinner or a side dish.  If you're taking it to a party, double it because people will be begging for more.

1 c. freshest green beans, slivered lengthwise
1/2 c. hazelnuts, toasted in a 350 oven for about 8 minutes, and coarsely chopped
1 c. cooked chickpeas
1 ts. whole cumin seeds
juice from 1/2 lemon
olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat up a cast iron or nonstick skillet on medium high.  Put in a tadbit of olive oil.  Dump chickpeas in, sprinkle a little salt and the cumin seeds, and toast until chickpeas are brown in spots (about 4 minutes), shaking a few times.

Combine green beans, toasted chickpeas, and toasted hazelnuts on a platter.  Squeeze lemon juice over the whole thing and drizzle a generous amount of olive oil.  Sprinkle on lots of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Take a hunk of parmesan and, using a vegetable peeler, shave the cheese over the salad.