Monday, April 26, 2010

Chickpeas with Leeks and Lemon

I came across this recipe on Seven Spoons. It sounded a little suspicious at first: chickpeas and leeks, with hardly anything else? Last time I tried a recipe with basically two ingredients, one of which was leeks, it was a disaster. But then, other blogs started raving about it, so I decided to try it too. And good thing I did, because this dish was absolutely fantastic! It’s very simple, but it tastes amazing. We had it both warm for dinner, and then straight from the fridge for lunch – delicious either way. And I liked it both plain as well as seasoned with salt and pepper (though it didn’t need it). This makes about four servings.

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 or 2 large garlic cloves, bruised but whole
a 6-inch branch fresh rosemary, broken in two
4 leeks, cleaned, trimmed and with the white and light green parts sliced in ¼-inch rounds
kosher salt
2 cups cooked chickpeas (I used a 19-oz can, drained)
½ lemon

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, garlic and rosemary over medium heat. Once the garlic turns fragrant and the rosemary begins to sizzle, remove the rosemary but reserve for later.

Add the leeks to the pan, along with a good pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the leeks are soft and sweet but still brightly green, around 5 minutes.

Tip in the chickpeas, and continue to cook for 5 minutes more, at which point the chickpeas should have darkened slightly in colour.

Using a microplane or zester, add a few scrapes of lemon zest to the pan, along with a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir gently to combine. Check for seasoning, adding more juice, zest or salt as needed. Return the reserved rosemary sprigs to the pan, and enjoy warm or at room temperature (or cold for lunch the next day).

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