A couple weeks ago I made hummus for the first time. I used canned chickpeas, but then at the natuurwinkel I saw bags of dried chickpeas and thought: I will just get those for next time. I looked online for a simple explanation of how long to soak them and dumped the bag in a bowl, soaked, cooked. Done.
So, I threw out the bag the chickpeas came in and cannot therefore accurately report the quantity. All I can say is: they enlarge when you rehydrate them. Overnight, I had a sizable supply of chickpeas to find uses for… which leads us to the kitchen conundrum at hand: things to make with chickpeas. (There was once a similar challenge involving a kilo of rhubarb.)
1. Hummus. (Repeat every time the bowl empties.)
So simple I’ll just spell it out: 2 cups chickpeas (or 1 can), 1 TBS lemon (or lime) juice, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 cup olive oil, food processor, go. Add a little water or olive oil if it’s too chunky for your liking.
3. Fried Chickpeas with Chorizo and Spinach, via NY Times. I went hunting for a recipe that seemed similar to a restaurant dish I loved in Barcelona: a tapas order of fried chickpeas with spinach and ham. This came close. Why are spinach and chickpeas so frequently paired (other than the surface-level “They taste good together”)? I don’t know. Food chemists, you tell me.
4. Curried Eggplant with Chickpeas and Spinach, via Food and Wine. This looks delicious, and the curry takes the flavor away from the Spanish direction, but I’m going to be honest and say I didn’t bother because my husband is staunchly opposed to eggplant.
5. Curried Chicken Salad with Chickpeas and Raita, via Gourmet. This was fantastic, though I wish I’d had the foresight to have some tortillas or other bread on hand to make it into a wrap.
6-sort of. In Ana Sortun’s cookbook Spice, there is a recipe for chickpea crepes that makes for a great snack. The basis is chickpea flour, so it’s sort of a leap from chickpeas in a bowl, but I have to mention it anyway, because I never get tired of mentioning how much I love Ana Sortun’s recipes. A while back I read Julie and Julia and saw the movie and all that, but I own Mastering the Art of French Cooking and I would never, never have the desire to cook my way through it, item by item. Spice, on the other hand? Cooking my way through every recipe in there sounds like receiving a present.
Chickpeas: finished. Dietary variety: commences now.