Chickpeas, to me, are a peculiar looking bean with an extremely funny name - Garbanzo. Each time I rinse and strain, I can't help but chuckle at their funny little shapes. Rarely do I cook with chickpeas. I'll aways have a can or two in the cupboard, but often lack creative ways to incorporate them into a dish. My usual chickpea standby, hummus, is as far as my culinary repertoire reaches. I've made a few curries, thrown them into a salad or two, but it's usually the same few recipes.
My sister is visiting for a few weeks from Canada. Aways seeking out ideas from my friends and family, I asked her if she had any recipe ideas or cravings. She mentioned that a coworker used to bring a chickpea salad for lunch and was hoping that we could come up with something fresh and healthy similar to that. I brought her to Trader Joes, because it's not only super cheap and tasty, but also a fun place to bring visitors. I picked up a beautiful tub of heirloom tomatoes, fresh from California. So bright and colorful, with gorgeous red, yellow, and green hues. I grabbed a bundle of fresh asparagus and some delicious Parmesan cheese. I wanted to create a creamy lemony sauce, to coat the beans and enhance the flavor from the tomatoes. The tomatoes were quite bitter, so I covered them in olive oil and salt and roasted in the oven to bring out the rich sweet caramel flavors. A new technique I recently learned, I shredded the asparagus with a vegetable peeler, into long strands, giving the dish some added crunch. The flavors paired nicely. It was hearty and healthy. Nutty, sweet, and creamy. Of course, I picked up a loaf of my favorite rustic bread, scrapes the bottom of the bowl, every last drop. A quick and easy lunchtime treat.
CHICKPEAS WITH ROASTED HEIRLOOM TOMATOES AND ASPARAGUS RECIPE (print)
2 - 15 oz can of chickpeas
3 large asparagus spears, shaved
1 lb baby heirloom tomatoes, roasted + olive oil and salt for sprinkling
1 garlic clove, peeled
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup good Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Wash the tomatoes. Place them onto a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt. Just enough to lightly coat. Move the tomatoes around with your hands coating them evenly with the oil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until they start to crack open and turn brown. Remove from the oven and set to the side.
Wash and drain the chickpeas. Place them into a large bowl.
Wash the asparagus, and with a vegetable peeler, shred the asparagus into thin strips. Place into the bowl with the chickpeas.
With an immersion blender or a food processor, add the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, cheese, salt and pepper. It is very important that you get a good cheese. Pulse until the garlic is pureed and the oil has turned into an emulsion.
Add the roasted tomatoes to the chickpeas, pour the dressing on top and combine. Serve cold.
Can be refrigerated for 4 days.