I know it's been a long time since I've added any recipes. A usual, its a new cookbook that causes me to start adding recipes. For Christmas this year, the dog gave me a cookbook again. Her choice was superb: Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. I want to be sure next summer when I am scrambling to come up with recipes using eggplant, cucumbers, and the likes, I remember these recipes.
Normally I shy away from cookbooks by restaurant owners or Food Network personalities. They seem full of themselves and full of ingredients that are either terribly expensive or terribly hard to find. Not so for Jerusalem. Although Ottolenghi owns restaurants bearing his name in London, the recipes are easily accessible. The recipes are mostly kosher and heavy on vegetables. Many of the summer vegetables use limited stove/oven time as well, which is nice when it's over 100 degrees outside and I really don't want to heat up my oven any more.
This the first recipe to share. We love it, especially the spiced chickpeas. My margin note? "The spiced chickpeas are divine!" I made a few changes. The original recipe called for a dressing on top of the vegetables. I left that out. Additionally, because with five people we are bound to like different things, I did not mix the vegetables together, I left them in separate piles on the serving platter. I used the vegetables I had (two kinds of sweet peppers), I omitted those I didn't (radishes).
Remember to start the chickpeas the night before you want to eat this meal.
This serves 4.
Spiced Chickpeas and Summer Vegetable Salad
adapted from Jerusalem by Ottolenghi and Tamimi
1/2 c dried chickpeas
1 t baking soda
2 small cucumbers, cut into 2/3" dice (seed and peel if you prefer)
2 large tomatoes, cut into 2/3" dice
8.5 oz radishes, cut into 2/3" dice (optional)
1 -2 sweet peppers, seeded and ribs removed, cut into 2/3" dice
2/3 oz cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/2 oz parsley, coarsely chopped
1 t ground cardamom
1 1/2 t allspice
1 t cumin
1/4 t salt
Soak the chickpeas overnight in a large bowl with plenty of cold water and baking soda. The next day, drain, place in a large saucepan and cover with water twice the volume of the chickpeas. Bring to a boil and simmer, skimming off any foam that may gather on top. Simmer for an hour or until the chickpeas are tender. Drain and set aside.
Mix the cardamom, allspice, cumin, and salt on a plate. Roll the cooked chickpeas gently through the spices. Heat 1 T olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the chickpeas and fry for 2 - 5 minutes. Gently shake the pan so they cook evenly and don't stick. Remove from heat and keep warm
To serve, put each vegetable on a serving platter. (Alternately, combine all the vegetables and herbs and place in a low bowl. Top with warm chickpeas.) Serve the chickpeas in a small bowl. Allow everyone to take the vegetables they want and top with chickpeas. Serve with pita and drizzle Greek yogurt over top if desired.