Sometimes there are recipes so simple yet satisfying that I feel guilty when I make them more than once in a week. It almost feels like I’m cheating, like somehow I should be able to be more creative, challenge myself and try something new. Then I remind myself that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, simple is sometimes better, and a good dinner, is a good dinner no matter how easy.
With that said, there is something so satisfying and wholesome about chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) and greens. They are incredibly nutritious and they certainly make you feel good eating them. This recipe was on my list of things to cook for a while before I got around to trying it, and the only thing I can think is that I wished I tried it earlier because we would have really enjoyed it over the cold winter. We are certainly getting out enjoyment out of it this spring.
This is the kind of meal you can get started as soon as you get home with just a few pantry staples. Two cans of garbanzo beans, check. Olive oil, check. Lots of garlic, check. A bunch of whatever sturdy greens you have in the garden or fridge, check. Get the beans and garlic roasting while you run outside and do a little work in the garden, forty-five minutes later come back in to start the greens and fry an egg. Just over an hour after walking in the door you have a satisfying dinner and a little dirt under your fingernails.
Roasted Chickpeas with Chard
I adapted this recipe the January 2008 Bon Appetit, you can find the original here, which I find more fussy than necessary. The recipe calls for canned chickpeas, I soaked and cooked my own yesterday and really liked it though I think next time I will cook them a little longer so I can get the same luxuriously creamy texture you get with the caned beans after roasting.
2 15.5-ounce cans chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), drained (about 3 cups)
10 garlic cloves, peeled
2 large shallots or 1 small onion, quartered
3 small bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 cumin seeds
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
3 small bay leaves
2 shallots, diced
1 to 2 bunches Swiss chard, freshly washed, center stems cut out, leaves coarsely torn
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine chickpeas, garlic, shallots, bay leaves, coriander and cumin in a 8×8 glass oven-safe pan. Season with salt and pepper and pour olive oil over. Toss to evenly coat. Cover pan with aluminum foil and put in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the garlic is tender and the beans are creamy.
When the beans are done, remove them from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Then strain beans and revere oil. Set aside.
Thoroughly wash the chard leaving the leaves wet. Remove the tough stem and roughly chop. In a large pan of skillet heat oil, add garlic, shallots and bay leaves. Cook until the shallot is tender, about 2 minutes. In two bathes add the chard, allowing the first batch to cook down slightly before adding the second. Toss to coat with olive oil, cover and cook for about 8-10 minutes, until the chard is wilted and tender, but still vibrantly green. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the chickpeas to the pan with the greens and drizzle with some of the reserved olive oil. Toss to coat evenly. Warm in pan until heated through. Salt and pepper to taste.
This is the perfect dish to serve with a fried egg and a crusty piece of bread.