Chickpeas, Provençal Style
How can such a simple list of ingredients produce such a satisfying dish? When I read Mark Bittman’s recipe for Chickpeas, Provençal Style (in his How to Cook Everything the Basics), I thought it sounded good because I do love chickpeas. I couldn’t help but wonder, though, if it might not need some kind of flavor booster. Then Laura and Byron told me that they had made it and they raved about it!
So, I finally got around to making Chickpeas, Provençal Style and we loved it! I think it is perfect just the way it is.
The delicious chickpea-cooking liquid is such an integral part of this recipe; I would not substitute canned chickpeas.
My chickpeas had been in the cupboard for awhile, I think. They took about an hour and a half to cook. It might take less time if you have really fresh chickpeas.
Chickpeas, Provençal Style is definitely a recipe that I’ll be making again! It’s a fantastic vegetarian entrée when you’re craving a meatless meal!
Chickpeas, Provençal Style
(Adapted, barely, from Mark Bittman’s recipe in How to Cook Everything the Basics)
1½ cups (12 ounces) dried chickpeas, rinsed and picked over
1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper
4 thick slices French or Italian bread
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley for garnish
1. Put the chickpeas in a large pot and cover with water so they are about three inches below the surface of the water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
2. After 30 minutes, start checking the chickpeas to see if they are beginning to soften. You should be able to squish one between your finger and your thumb. If they’re still hard, continue to simmer and check them every 15 minutes or so. Make sure they are always covered by at least one inch of water. (My older chickpeas had to cook for almost an hour before they started to soften.)
3. Once they are starting to soften, add the teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Continue to simmer, covered, until the chickpeas are tender. After you have added the salt, it will take 15 – 45 minutes more for the chickpeas to be done. Check them every 15 minutes making sure they are still covered with some water. Add more water if needed.
4. While the chickpeas are cooking, cut the bread into bite-sized pieces and spread them out on a baking sheet. Bake in a 400˚ oven for 5 or 6 minutes. Turn them over and continue to bake for another 5 or 6 minutes, until lightly toasted. Set the bread cubes aside; there’s no need to keep them warm.
5. When the chickpeas are done, stir in the garlic and the ¼ cup of olive oil. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
6. Put some bread cubes in each bowl. Top the bread with the chickpeas and some of the broth. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over all and garnish with the parsley.