If Sunday was about griping, yesterday was different and today I am back to feeling positive and cheery. Something very interesting happened to me, I recently swapped phones. Yes, I am finally on an I-phone. I had resisted using it for a while, now why you might ask?
It is one of those principles that I have, I like to support the independent and the underdog. They are not always the same, but I have a dislike for monopolies, do not like chains so usually settle for the independent book store over Barnes and Nobles and Borders (if I can), avoid Starbucks (this one is not difficult) and I had placed I-phone in the same bucket.
Well, there is one case where I make exceptions. It is about convenience. As a busy mama, time savings trump all. One of the reasons, I cannot avoid shopping on Amazon, in fact, I just placed an order for my first cast iron skillet. I am told by fans it is going to change the way I cook. The I-phone I have to confess is indeed a very convenient tool and has made my life significantly simpler. But the interesting side benefit of swapping phones has been that I have found messages and contacts that I had stored in drafts and forgotten about. One of these was an email to a very close friend, who I had almost lost touch with, almost… Yesterday we picked up like we had never separated. That is what makes a good friend different.
Speaking of convenience, these chickpeas are all about simplicity and ease. They need about 15 minutes of hands on cooking time. Do not get me wrong, they cook much longer, but that is what the slow cooker is for. The flavors are seemingly complex but really not so, but roasting the tomatoes and garlic offer this recipe a surprising depth. Something magical happens to garlic when it is roasted, it mellow into a rich silky soft smoothness.
Next week, I head of to Spain for a week on a much needed vacation. Cannot wait, so stay tuned for Tapas –Westchester style.
Chickpea Stew with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Kale
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1/3 cup for 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tomatoes, quartered
8 pods of garlic
2 cups chickpeas, cooked until very soft (I did this in the slow cooker overnight on an 8-hour cycle)
1 teaspoon coarsely ground cumin
11/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 small bunch of kale (finely chopped, about 8 leaves)
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Lime or lemon juice (optional)
Method of Preparation
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the tomatoes and the garlic in separate ovenproof containers.
Drizzle most of the 1/3 cup oil over the tomatoes and some over the garlic.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat for a minute.
Add in the cumin and cook until it sizzles.
Add in the pepper flakes and the kale and cook for 5 minutes.
Lightly mash some of the chickpeas to give some texture to the sauce, add in the whole and partially mashed chickpeas to the kale mixture with some water (about 1/3 cup).
Add in the salt and continue simmering.
Mash or mince the garlic and stir it in.
Add in the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.
Stir in the cilantro leaves and sprinkle with lime or lemon juice.