Here’s an idea for your weekend, and really there’s not much to it. While you’re sitting around on Sunday, reading the paper or doing a marathon of Orange is the New Black, bring a big pot of water to a boil. Drop in half an onion (leave the skin on), a carrot, a piece of celery and a whole head of garlic. Then pour in a big bag of dried chickpeas. If you’re bold, add a pinch of salt (though some say this changes the texture; I haven’t found that to be true). Lower to a simmer and cook for 20 to 40 minutes, tasting after 20 to see how far they have to go. Keep ’em going until they’re incredibly creamy on the inside (it’s tempting to stop when they’re merely edible, but creamy is what you’re going for), adding more salt as they chug along to help ensure that they get seasoned all the way to the center. When they’re seasoned and creamy, take the pot off the heat and allow it to come to room temperature. Then pop it in the fridge. What now?
There’s so much you can do.
You can make that roasted beet and carrot salad I told you about and spoon on these special chickpeas to add protein (and substance):
Or, if you have leftover pork stew (I forgot to post about it but I promise, I will next week) but not enough pork in there to make it a dinner, add some chickpeas to the cooking liquid and cook them down together and serve with roasted potatoes:
Make your heavenly hummus even more heavenly; supposedly that’s the case when you use chickpeas you’ve cooked yourself (and even more the case if you peel them, which I’m too lazy to do).
There’s also Lebanese chickpea stew, chickpea curry, pasta with chickpeas, bacon and spinach, roasted chickpeas, butternut squash and chickpea salad and that frittata with Spanish chickpea salad I just told you about. (Why do I feel like that guy from Forrest Gump?)
Sure, you could buy a bunch of cans and save yourself the trouble, but this way is both cheaper and better. The texture of chickpeas you cook yourself are firmer, creamier, more substantial. You’ll notice the difference, I promise.
So get yourself some dried chickpeas, get yourself a pot, and get busy. Your next week’s meals will be that much better for it.