I've been looking for more blogging events to enter. They're fun, and they give me a little more direction in terms of what I want to make. It's also a lot of fun to see what other people have come up with to suit the theme. I found out yesterday about the theme of the Waiter, There's Something In My... blogging event. This month, it's pulses. How could I not try to come up with something? I love pulses, especially chickpeas. They're so much a part of my ordinary cooking, I couldn't resist. There's just one catch. The deadline for entries is Friday morning, and I believe that the host is in Great Britain somewhere so morning is early. That meant that the dish had to be cooked last night in order to post this morning so that I could get it in before the deadline. I wasn't going to have time to go to the store and make anything. Therefore, I was going to have to come up with a dish based on what I had lying around the house.
Fortunately, there was an answer for this: canned chickpeas. I know that there is a lot of reluctance on the part of some people to used canned products of any type, much less pulses. To be perfectly honest, I've had some pretty awful canned chickpeas in my day. I remember once that I needed to make a whole lot of hummus, and I decided to go with canned chickpeas from one of those huge discount warehouse type stores. The can was bigger than my whole head. Unfortunately, the quality was abyssmal. I've found a couple of brands that I like and I try to keep a few cans around just in case. I used canned tomatoes, too, for a couple of reasons. I make this dish when I'm pressed for time, such as when I want to watch the baseball game or when I get home late and don't have time for a whole lot of prep. I sometimes throw in some frozen spinach, but I didn't have any left. Some people may find the harissa a little too much; if so, go ahead and reduce it or eliminate it altogether and use tomato paste instead.
1 onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons minced jarred garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 large (25 oz) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 tablespoons harissa
Kosher salt to taste
1 fresh tomato for garnish
1 small sprig of parsley, for garnish
Generous splash of lemon juice
- Wide pan
- Can opener
- Heat the oil over high heat.
- Add the onion, garlic and bay leaf. Cook until the onion is softened.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- Add the harissa and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for a few minutes, stirring well, until the harissa is well integrated into the onion mixture.
- Add the chickpeas and tomatoes. Cook for about five minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the pan is mostly dry and the whole dish is heated through.
- Turn out into a serving dish. Splash with the lemon juice to brighten the flavors a little.
- Garnish with the tomatoes and parsley.
Update 04-07-08: I've just been to the roundup for this round of Waiter, There's Something In My... There are so many great entries! It's great to see so many creative uses for this category of ingredient. If you want to check it out, and I highly recommend you do, please follow the link here.