Part One Slow Cooking The Chickpeas Ingredients 2 cups dried chickpeas 4 dried New Mexican chilies 5 cloves garlic 1 teaspoon sea salt Fresh water for soaking and then cooking
Soak the chickpeas overnight covered by 2 inches of water
Next day drain chickpeas, cover with fresh water in a medium pot, bring to the boil straining off any foam, let cook at a high simmer for 10 minutes.
In a slow cooker, put dried chilies, garlic, and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Add chickpeas after the 10 minute high simmer.
Set slow cooker to high and cook for 4 hours.
Part Two Roasting The Vegetables Ingredients 1 ½ lbs (610g) summer squash-yellow is lovely, green is great. Cut in a large square dice 2 medium onions (484g) halved and sliced thin 3 large red sweet peppers (281g) cut into matchsticks 3 tablespoons fresh minced garlic (46g) 2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger (22g) ¼ cup olive oil Sea salt
Preheat oven to 450F (232C) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Slice, dice and mince all vegetables--I mince garlic and ginger together in a food processor.
Massage olive oil into veggies, sprinkle with salt
Roast for 20 minutes, stir and roast another 15 minutes until sweet and melty.
Part Three Spicy Sauce and Finishing Ingredients 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 1 ½ teaspoons whole caraway ground 1 teaspoon whole coriander seed ground 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns ground 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt 2 tablespoons high mineral sugar ¼ cup sherry vinegar 1 teaspoon hot chili sauce Pureed and strained N.M. chilies from chickpea cooking
Measure out all ground spices
Measure and grind all whole spices in a spice grinder and sift through a mesh strainer
Puree the chilies from the cooked chickpeas with about a cup of the chickpea water. Put the puree through a food mill into a large bowl
Add ground spices, vinegar, sugar, salt, chili sauce to the chili puree
In a heavy bottomed pan, I use cast iron, set on medium heat combine the chickpeas, and sauce and reduce until thick, about 6-8 minutes stirring occasionally. The flavors should meld and vinegar’s harshness cook off.
Correct chickpeas and sauce for salt. The taste should be a beautiful balance of sweet, spice, heat and sour. Sometimes a bit more salt will bring out the right balance.
Layer the saucy chickpeas with the roasted veggies ending with the colorful veggies on the top. Keep warm until served.
Serve with flatbreads, or roasted barley With Love Enjoy
I was perusing through Clifford Wright’s Mediterranean Vegetables cookbook and found a recipe for a Tunisian zucchini and lamb casserole with chickpeas.It looked delicious, and I do adore lamb stews, but lamb is not a frequent guest at my table so I wondered about making something with just the chickpeas. I love North African spice combinations and the harissa. You might be surprised to see a North African recipe with caraway, but it’s actually used a lot throughout the Mediterranean. I’ve been making my own ‘quick’ chili sauces by stewing dried chilies with my beans as they cook and then pureeing and straining them. They then do double duty by lending depth to the chickpeas, and making a rich chili sauce. Grinding fresh whole spices and reducing the sauce over the chickpeas really makes this dish. The secret of its luxuriant taste is the sherry vinegar reduced with the sauce, I also added a bit of high mineral sugar to make sure the reduction springs forward. I can’t emphasize enough how salt opens up your tastebuds, adding just the right amount will allow you to hear all the players. Clifford Wright’s recipe deep fries the zucchini, and doesn’t have onions or sweet peppers. I like my roasted version because of the meld that happens between all the sweet summer flavors. This recipe may look complicated, but it’s not. It’s one of those get in the flow recipes, do this part, and come back, to do that part, and finally bring it all together. Really, there’s nothing stressful or needing much tending about it. Once it’s done it becomes a slow-cooked fast food. A meze meal that can be brought out to eat at room temperature with salads, breads, or meats.
I took this dish to my friend Dena’s 50th birthday party potluck this afternoon. Arleta across from me in a lawn chair, who I don’t know well, shouted over and asked if I’d made the chickpea casserole. --Yes, I said. --I just knew it, because it was right. I bet you started everything from scratch, It just feels of goodness like food should. --Thanks! I said.