Archives for posts with tag: Chickpeas


It’s no secret: I am possibly cooking my way through the entirety of Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Jerusalem. I’ve blogged about a couple of the recipes here—Lentils with Broiled Eggplant and Preserved Lemons; and from his earlier book Plenty, Hummus & Ful, Caramelized Garlic Tart. This month’s Recipe Lab at the New York Times is even focusing on Jerusalem and soliciting fan favorites. I’ve been meaning to write in.

I was flipping through Jerusalem the other day before shopping at the food co-op. I had almost settled on the Helbeh—a honey-soaked, fenugreek-infused cake—when I remembered the outside temperature (97 F) and how much I have been avoiding the oven. I stumbled next on a recipe for Spiced Chickpeas and Fresh Vegetable Salad, a gorgeous mélange of crisp vegetables that are all currently in season, accompanied by chickpeas coated in spices then quickly fried in olive oil. Served with greek yogurt it seemed like the only other thing I’d like to eat in this heat other than cold watermelon. (Check out Bittman’s Watermelon All Day Long in this weekend’s Times’ Magazine.)


You need to get a head start on this the night before by soaking 1/2 cup chickpeas in cold water with a pinch of baking soda. The next day, as the chickpeas are cooking, you can assemble the rest of the salad. I improvised and bought what looked best at both the co-op and the farmer’s market—crunch Kirby cucumbers, local radishes, an assortment of cherry tomatoes from Hepworth Farms, purple scallions, cilantro, and parsley. It’s that time of year in the Northeast when you can’t really go wrong in the produce department if you stick to buying locally.


I’d love to serve the salad as brunch for friends, along with some good pita and homemade hummus. To the salad you could add a salty cheese like feta; or maybe even watermelon!

Spiced Chickpeas and Summer Vegetable Salad

1/2 c dried chickpeas
1 tsp baking soda
2 small cucumbers
2 medium or large tomatoes, or a small basket of cherry tomatoes
1/2 pound of radishes
1 red pepper, seeded, with white pith removed
1 small or 1/2 large red onion, peeled
1/2 cup scallions (green or purple), chopped
1/2 cup cilantro leaves and stems, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
6 tbsp olive oil
grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp vinegar (such as sherry, champagne, or combo white and balsmic)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cumin
Yogurt (optional)
salt and black pepper

Soak the dried chickpeas overnight in plenty of cold water with a pinch of baking soda. (In this hot weather I put them in the fridge overnight.) When you’re ready to cook them the next day, drain and transfer to a large saucepan. Cover with water (about twice the amount, in volume, as the chickpeas) and bring to a boil, cooking on high for up to an hour. Mine were thoroughly cooked in 30 minutes. Skim off the white foam as needed during cooking. Drain and set aside.

Chop the cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, and red pepper into small (roughly 1/2-inch chunks, and place in a bowl. Add the chopped scallions, parsley, and cucumber. Mix together.

To make the dressing, combine 5 tbsp of the olive oil, the lemon zest and juice, vinegar, and sugar in a jar and shake well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.

Mix together the cardamom, allspice, cumin, and 1/4 tsp salt. Spread out over a plate, then toss the cooked chickpeas in the spice mixture. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in a sauté pan and add the chickpeas, cooking for 2–3 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Divide the salad onto plates and serve with the warm chickpeas and a dollop of yogurt.


Chickpeas, quinoa, and yams, Oh My!

My dear friend Sarah recently sent me a gift in the mail: a cookbook entitled Whitewater Cooks with Friends, by Shelley Adams. Whitewater Resort is nestled in the Rockies in Nelson, British Columbia, where Adams is head chef. The book is special for me as someone who lived in B.C. for a couple of years and loved the simplicity, freshness, and local delicacies (Nanaimo Bars!) of Vancouver Island and beyond.

I love flipping through the book for the photos and the comments like “Buying good quality pasta sauce, pasta and homemade sausages is totally worth it. Go to Star Grocery in Trail, B.C. and ask for Pasquale!” Or, “Think ‘classic’ and we think Petra!” And, for the broccoli salad, “Test driven on many a Kootenay kid!” Sarah recommended I try the chickpea, quinoa, and roasted yam salad; it’s the first thing I’ve made from the book.

I couldn’t help tweaking the recipe a little (I’m a tinkerer), so I tailored it to August and my local farmer’s market, adding local cherry tomatoes and sorrel, and cooking the chickpeas rather than using canned. I added some heat by using a pinch of hot red chili pepper flakes. I can’t wait to eat this all week for lunch, adding avocado or more greens along the way. Feta would also be great in this but I left it out this round. You can have fun with this recipe and substitute according to your tastes, the season, and what you have on hand.

I ended up with a lot of leftover chickpeas—I cooked too many—so made a quick hummus. I blended the cooked chickpeas (along with the onion I had cooked them with), one roasted red pepper, a clove of garlic, some lemon juice, olive oil, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper.

Chickpea, Quinoa, and Roasted Yam Salad
Adapted from Shelley Adams

For the salad:
1/2 c quinoa
2 yams, peeled and cut into 1/2 in. cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (or black pepper)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 c dried chickpeas* or 2 cans chickpeas
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 red pepper, chopped
Handful of cherry or sungold tomatoes, halved
1/2 c roasted sunflower seeds
1 c greens (spinach, mesclun mix, sorrel)
optional: 1/2 c parsley, chopped, and 1/2 c feta cheese, crumbled

For the dressing:
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper

*If you’re using dried instead of canned chickpeas get cookin’! You actually want to soak your chickpeas in plenty of cold water overnight, or at least 4-6 hours. Drain the soaking liquid. Transfer chickpeas to a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. I added an onion, cut in half, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, and 2 juniper berries. Cook the chickpeas on medium-high heat for about 45 minutes or until fully cooked. Drain the hot water and let cool completely.

Place the quinoa and 3/4 c cold water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, leave lid on, and let stand for 5 minutes. Cool the quinoa on a baking sheet.

Toss the yams with olive oil, salt, and pepper and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 F.

Make the dressing by combining the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper and whisking together. Set aside.

Place the chickpeas, carrots, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds, greens, and parsley and feta if using, and the cooled quinoa and yams in a large bowl. Pour dressing all over and toss gently. Serve with any number of things: crusty bread, bruschetta, focaccia, grilled fish, olives, etcetera! The salad is also just about hearty enough for a meal on its own.

Did you hear that winter’s over…Last year’s miracles will soon be forgotten. New creatures whirl in from non-existence, galaxies scattered around their feet. Have you met them? -Rumi

One day this week—I think it was Thursday—I stepped outside of my apartment and noticed that each and every tree on my block had blossomed overnight. I was in Manhattan later that same day and sure enough, the trees there too were exploding with color, especially the pink magnolia blossoms, and white Callery pear flowers. There’s something about spring that takes the edge off of New York. Everything softens: the light, the colors, the clothing, the people. Suddenly there’s pink on the concrete, bare feet in sandals, and rainbow sprinkles dripping down ice cream cones.

Once again I was in the mood for the kind of spring dish that strikes the right balance for March: in like a lion, out like a lamb. Nothing too heavy, but nothing too summery crisp either. Something with color, but also a little bit of warmth. Warm salads tend to do the trick. I was flipping through my cookbooks for inspiration and this here is a riff on another Ottolenghi dish. A combination of chickpeas, sautéed carrots, caraway seeds, chard, mint, and cilantro, served with greek yogurt, olive oil, and pickled shallots.

And because tonight’s the season 5 Mad Men premiere, I leave you with one of my favorite Joan quotes: “But that’s life. One minute you’re on top of the world, the next minute some secretary’s running you over with a lawnmower.”

Chickpea Sauté with greek yogurt and pickled shallots
Serves 4

1 shallot, cut in slivers
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp water
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 bunch of Swiss chard (300 g), stems and leaves separated
1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for serving
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 c (250 g) cooked chickpeas
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs: mint and cilantro work well, or chervil, chives, flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt and black pepper

6 oz (100 g) greek yogurt
1 tbsp olive oil

You want to do a quick pickle of your shallot: place the shallot slivers in a small jar and cover with the vinegar and water, and add the salt and sugar. (I also threw in some fresh thyme I had lying around.) Let sit at least 30 minutes.

Bring a big pot of salted water to boil and add the chard stems, cook for 2 minutes, then add the leaves, cooking everything for an additional 3 minutes. Drain the water and rinse the chard (stems and leaves) in very cold water. Squeeze dry and do a rough chop.

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the carrots and caraway seeds and sauté for 5 minutes, then add the chard and chickpeas and continue cooking for an additional 6 minutes. Then add the garlic, herbs, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat, adjust the seasoning.

To serve, combine the greek yogurt and olive oil with a bit of salt and pepper. Pile the vegetables onto serving dishes and spoon the yogurt mixture on top, drizzling with additional olive oil and scattering some pickled shallots on top.

Here are some photos of spring, from my neck of the woods…including: Long Island beach; Occupy Wall Street @ Union Square; @ Jay St.-MetroTech subway station; a friend’s little one, born on my birthday; more beauty on my block.

%d bloggers like this: