Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chickpeas In Herbed Sauce

When I cooked a pot of chickpeas this morning, I didn't really have a plan for dinner. I did know that I had an unusually full bin of vegetables to chose from, so I seasoned the cooking water to use later as a sauce.

Most of the time, I limit bean seasoning to a few bay leaves-so that I can use them in a variety of dishes. Today, I had only a small batch of beans to cook, and I knew they would all be used in a single dish. If this sounds like quite a bit of thinking to still be uncertain what dinner was going to consist of-you're right. Still, knowing what you have on hand does really start to form a plan in the back of your mind, if not exactly a menu.

I cooked the chickpeas with a whole, unpeeled onion, two cloves of garlic, a teaspoon of dried thyme, a teaspoon of dried rosemary, and three bay leaves.When the chickpeas were soft, I cooled them in the cooking liquid.

Arriving home tired this evening, I was glad to have the main part of dinner ready. In addition to the chickpeas in sauce, I had rice, roasted sweet potatoes and carrots. I don't think anyone left the table hungry.

Chickpeas in sauce:

4 cups cooked chickpeas, liquid reserved
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
A handful of chopped parsley

2 cups cooking liquid from chickpeas
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour

In a large pan, heat the olive oil and add the celery and onion. Cook until onions begin to brown. Add the chickpeas, salt/pepper and parsley. Cook a few minutes longer. Remove from heat. Make sauce.

In a small, heavy saucepan heat the butter until it bubbles. With a wooden spoon, add the flour and cook (about 2 minutes) until foamy. Slowly add the cooking liquid and over medium heat, whisk until it comes to a boil. Cook about 1-2 minutes longer until it thickens. Pour over chickpeas and mix well. Adjust salt and pepper. Serve over rice with roasted vegetables.

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