Recipe A Day #21: Savory Baked Chickpeas and Garlic

This is a really easy and healthy recipe that I adapted from a one of the oldest and most earnest cookbooks in my cookbook collection: Anna Thomas' The Vegetarian Epicure. The version I've created for you today only takes just a few minutes of prep plus a few minutes of sauteing. Then, just put the dish into the oven and wait. Enjoy!

Savory Baked Chickpeas and Garlic

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped into slivers
1 small green bell pepper, chopped into matchstick-size slivers
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon tarragon
salt and black pepper, to taste
3-4 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 14.5 ounce cans chickpeas, drained and well-rinsed

1) Saute onion and green pepper in oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, until softening. Add minced/pressed garlic, saute another 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 325F/160C.

2) Add diced tomatoes, tarragon, salt/black pepper and parsley, and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Add chickpeas, combine well and saute/simmer until well-heated through.

3) Transfer everything to a casserole dish, cover, and bake at 325F/160C for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Serve right out of the oven or cold.

Serves 4 as an entree, 5-6 as a side dish.

Recipe Notes:
1) Once again, this recipe simply cries out for adaptations. Consider different spicing ideas: basil in place of tarragon, or cayenne pepper, or poultry seasoning or thyme/sage for a few ideas for different flavor sets. You could add a topping of parmesan or mozzarella cheese for an interesting and delicious effect. Or, you could also add meat and make this dish into sort of a Cassoulet: consider dark meat chicken, or large chunks of sausage. And so on.

2) An ethical dilemma: I always wonder if authors of vegetarian cookbooks like Anna Thomas' The Vegetarian Epicure or Jay Solomon's Vegetarian Soup Cuisine are ever offended or have their feelings hurt when somebody adapts their recipes by adding meat. This is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night.

3) Cost: I'm sure readers won't be surprised to find out that this recipe is laughably cheap, and for the gazillionth time we utterly disprove the ludicrous assertion that it costs a lot to eat healthy.

chickpeas, 2 cans: 1.38
diced tomatoes: 59c
onion: 25c
green pepper: 95c
garlic: 20c
oil/spices: 25c

Total: 3.62, or about 91c per serving.

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Anonymous said...

I can't answer for everyone, but there is a cloth doll (think art) pattern maker who is very religious. My friend used one of her patterns to make a gold rush era lady of the night. The pattern designer was very upset that her pattern was used thusly.

Since that keeps you up at night.

Daniel said...

Huh. If that's the proper analogy now I'm *really* feeling guilty.