Monday, December 16, 2013

Recipe :: Tuscan Mashed Chickpeas


The first time I ever made this recipe was last Valentine's Day. I had a three course dinner planned for Tomas (one of the courses was homemade brownies, so I'm not sure if that really counts as "three course") and I opened the meal with Tuscan Mashed Chickpeas (courtesy of Barefoot Contessa) served with toasted country bread. It was love at first taste. I've been eating it ever since. This is Hummus' cooler sister (...or brother? Although, isn't food generally referred to in a feminine sense?) This dip is great as an appetizer, a snack, or if you love it as much as I do, a dinner. Yes, the last time I made this I ate it for dinner with pita bread, and when the pita bread ran out, I ate it by the spoonful.

Did I mention that this is so easy to make? (If you haven't noticed yet, I only cook simple recipes. Don't want to stress myself out and ruin the joy of cooking forever). You can also make this ahead of time, which comes in handy if you are entertaining and don't have the time to prepare all your dishes on the spot.
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Tuscan Mashed Chickpeas 
recipe from Barefoot Contessa FOOLPROOF: Recipes You Can Trust 
by Ina Garten
(my notes in red)

Ingredients:
2 (15.5 ounce) cans chickpeas (The cans I use are little smaller, about 12 ounces each).
1/2 cup chicken stock (I use just a tad more chicken stock, about 2/3 cup, so the dip isn't too dry).
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for serving
2 ripe medium-sized tomatoes, seeded and small-diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I don't really measure the grated Parmesan, I tend to use cheese pretty generously).
3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
grilled country bread, for serving

How many people will this feed? The cookbook says 6-8, but I 
think it's closer to 4, possibly 6.

Method:
Pour the chickpeas into a colander and rinse them under cold running water. Drain well. Place the chickpeas in a the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. (I use an electric hand mixer with steel blade). Add the chicken stock and pulse until the chickpeas are coarsely chopped, but not pureed.






In a medium (10-inch) saute pan, heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until the tomatoes are softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.



Add the chickpeas, stirring to combine with the tomatoes and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through.




Turn off the heat, stir in Parmesan, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper.(Barefoot Contessa suggests 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, but I find that to be WAY too much salt. I use 1/2 teaspoon salt since the chicken stock and Parmesan already have salt).




Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil and serve warm or at room temperature with pieces of grilled (or toasted, if you don't have a gas stove) country bread(also delicious with pita bread).If you would like to make this in advance, place in the refrigerator, and take out about a half hour before serving. I like to add just a tad more grated Parmesan on top too.








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