Choosing the right recipe involves lengthy deliberation, at least in my case. Often times, the most arduous task revolves around pinpointing what resource I’m going to use in selecting the perfect recipe. I have my staples in the form of Bon Appétit magazine and Yotam Ottolengthi’s Plenty, which I don’t stray too far from the majority of the time. However, when I was introduced to Food52.com a couple of months ago, I immediately became enthralled with their website content. Food52 is a community portal which provides a breadth of recipes, columns, contests, and everything else under the sun as it pertains to the cooking world. They also have a section of the website called Provisions, which is an online marketplace that sells products ranging from cooking tools and decor to kitchen knick knacks.
I signed up for their newsletter immediately after being impressed with my website discoveries. Shortly thereafter, I started receiving e-mails from them and was particularly drawn to their Community Picks feature, which highlights the best recipes that showcase a particular ingredient. I ending up selecting two from the chickpea recipe feature, of which can be found here. My decision was finalized after I saw the appealing pictures of each recipe.
Chickpeas are an absolutely delicious legume and act as the focal point of both of these recipes. Chickpeas possess a nutty, yet buttery taste and are probably most famously known for their omnipresence in hummus. These garbanzo beans contain a hefty amount of protein, iron, and other vitamins and minerals like manganese, which sustains energy levels as well as aiding in antioxidant defense. Chickpeas are equally satisfying whether they are thrown atop a garden salad or cooked to perfection in the manner that they are in the Chorizo recipe. Chickpeas’ versatility, satiating properties, and health components make this an ingredient everyone should consume with more regularity.
The pan of chickpeas, chévre, and chorizo are now a recipe that I’m going to lump into the ever-growing “comfort food” category. I found that the addition of the spinach, chickpeas, roasted red peppers, garlic, and onion brought necessary balance and off-set the decadence of the meat and cheese. Cayenne and paprika satiate (spices, not sauces, aid in nullifying cravings), while the parsley and chives serve their purpose as an appealing green garnish. As much as I love chorizo, I will probably halve the amount I use the next go around and double the veggies, particularly the spinach because it wilts into practically nothing at all. This was really easy to make and only requires about 10-15 minutes of chopping and mincing.
Fattet hummus intrigued me, because I frankly had no idea what it was. This version of hummus is described by the Food52 author as “Mid-Eastern Savory Chickpea Bread Pudding”. The dish is served hot, with the hummus base consisting of: garlic, lemon juice, chickpeas, tahini (comprised of ground sesame seeds and olive oil), and yogurt. Sectile pita loaves are then cut appropriately and fried in olive oil, followed by a frying of the pine nuts. This dish is concocted into layers and best served warm, garnished with a pinch or two of paprika, cayenne pepper, and freshly torn mint leaves. Fattet hummus is best served hot or warm, but if you have leftovers, don’t be afraid to use this as a dip or appetizer the following day or two. Not unlike regular hummus, Fattet hummus pairs extremely well with carrots, peppers, and other dipping vegetables. Stacy’s pita chips, wheat thins, chips, triscuits, or any of the Back to Nature snacks also do the trick. As you can plainly see, I am well versed in the sodium snack realm.
Stumble into Provisions or take a gander at the delicious recipes on Food52‘s website, if you haven’t already.
Chorizo, Chévre, & Chickpeas
All recipes taken from Food52
1/2 tsp. olive oil
2 cups baby spinach
1/4 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 small white onion, thinly sliced into half moons
3 roasted red peppers, packed in oil, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 chorizo sausages, chopped
1/8 tsp. smoked paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
One 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp. chives, chopped
3 tbsp. parsley, chopped
1/4 cup chèvre, crumbled
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a wide saucepan. Add the spinach and toss to coat. Heat the spinach until it begins to wilt, about 4 minutes, then add the red wine vinegar and a pinch of kosher salt. Remove the spinach into a bowl.
Add the onion, the roasted red pepper, and the garlic to the pan. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the chorizo. (If the chorizo is not cured, make sure to cook it through, about 5 to 7 minutes.) Add the paprika and the cayenne. Add the chickpeas, then stir everything together. Taste and correct the salt, as needed.
Stir in the reserved spinach, then the chives and the parsley, and finally top with the chèvre. Serve warm.
Fattet Hummus (Mid-Eastern Savory Chickpea Bread Pudding)
2 cups chickpeas, dry
3 cups natural yogurt
2 tablespoons tahini
1/2 lemon, juiced
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
4-5 small pita loaves
1/2 cup olive oil
2-3 tbsp. pine nuts
pinches paprika or cayenne pepper (optional for garnish)
3-4 mint leaves (optional for garnish)
Soak the chickpeas overnight. Rinse well several times under cold running water, then place them in a large pot.
Cover the chickpeas with with about twice their own volume of fresh cold water, bring to a boil, then lower the heat. Simmer them for one hour until tender. Add the cumin and a small dash of olive oil. Keep the pot covered to make sure the liquid remains simmering-hot and ready for use later. (Contrarily, you could use canned chickpeas, and skip to the next step. Make sure to have some hot water ready.)
Put the yogurt in a large glass mixing bowl. Add the tahini, lemon juice, and crushed garlic. Whisk well. Bring two inches of water to a rolling boil in a pot and place the glass bowl on top. Heat the yogurt mix gently, whisking the whole time. Make sure it does not come to a boil; the idea is to just warm it up and blend the flavors together. If the yogurt mixture thickens too much, add a little of the chickpea broth until you get a soupy consistency. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
Separate the pita loaves into two thin layers, then cut them into bite-sized pieces with kitchen scissors. Heat half the olive oil in a frying pan and shallow-fry the pita until crunchy and golden. Alternatively, brush the separated pita rounds with olive oil, toast them well in a hot oven, then break them into bite-sized pieces by hand. You could even simply use day-old bread, if you’re in a hurry.
Spread the bread in an even layer in a deep serving platter or bowl. Ladle out about a cup or so of the reserved hot chickpea broth, and drizzle it on top of the bread pieces until they are just soaked.
Set aside 1 to 2 tablespoons of the chickpeas for garnish. With a ladle, scoop the remaining hot chickpeas out of the broth and spread them evenly on top of the bread. Pour the warmed yogurt mixture over the chickpeas. Gently stir the layers together with a large slotted spoon. Top with the reserved chickpeas.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil and fry the pine nuts until golden, then pour them, along with the hot oil, over the chickpea-yogurt mixture. Sprinkle paprika, cayenne pepper, and the torn mint leaves on top for garnish, and enjoy immediately!