Wednesday, May 21, 2008

More food in a bowl

Chickpeas in their own broth

I finally got it together this weekend to cook up a pot of beans. Once a month or so, I like to cook a pound or two of beans. I use some up right away, and the rest goes into the freezer. The bean of the month for May is the chickpea. Chickpeas are one of the longer cooking beans, taking up to three hours to soften. Fortunately, I was so together this weekend I even managed to soak the beans overnight. Soaking isn't absolutely necessary to cook beans, but it dramatically reduces the cooking time. After soaking for ten hours (I had a good long sleep), my chickpeas cooked up in just over an hour.

While the beans cooked, I came up with a list of ideas for what to do with them. I'm just about out of tahini, so hummus was out of the question. Chickpea cutlets, warm chickpea salad, roasted chickpeas, saffron rice with chickpeas, and the simple dish above all made the list.

Chickpeas in their own broth is another Bittman inspired dish. He raves about the flavor of chickpea broth, and I have to agree with him. I'm never pouring this stuff down the sink again. The chickpeas are spooned into a dish with their liquid, and then drizzled with lemon juice and tahini and sprinkled with spiced toasted bread crumbs. I love dishes like these because they're practically recipe-less.

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