3/14/12

How to Cook Chickpeas from Scratch. Plus, Recipe for Chickpea Salad.

I love convenience, short cuts and quick results. You might be surprised, then, to learn that a few weeks ago I cooked a bag of chickpeas from scratch.

Why did I do that? Well, I happened to have a bag of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) occupying space in one of my kitchen cabinets and decided to put it out of its misery.

After all, I've successfully cooked black beans from scratch...why not chickpeas?

Technique
1. Soak a 16-ounce bag of chickpeas {I used Goya brand} overnight.
2. Try very hard not to get freaked out when the chickpeas triple in size.
3. Add the drained chickpeas to a pot, cover with water, season with a bit of salt, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let the chickpeas cook, covered, for about 40 minutes, or until tender.
4. Start thinking of a zillion ways you can use these tender chickpeas.
5. Do a bit of math and figure out that buying dry chickpeas is at least three times cheaper than buying canned chickpeas.
6. Realize that although this was a successful endeavor, the likelihood of you making chickpeas from scratch again is very slim...unless you are planning to cook for a crowd. The convenience of buying a can of chickpeas is just too hard to resist.

before


after

And now, a super-quick salad to use those chickpeas...but first, a photo of gorgeous (though out of season) tomatoes:



Chickpea Salad with Tomatoes, Avocado & Queso Fresco
Ingredients

2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/3 cup chopped cilantro {feel free to use less}
1-2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 lime, juiced
1/4-1/3 cup cubed queso fresco {use feta if you can't find queso fresco}
1-2 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper
1-2 avocados, sliced


Directions
1. Combine all the ingredients, but the avocado, in a large bowl. Divide the salad amongst individual salad bowls. Top with sliced avocados.
Do you cook chickpeas from scratch? Why or why not? How do you use them?

5 comments:

Anna @snackingkitchen said...

You and your fanned avocados :) The tomatoes look gorgeous!

Ben said...

I love that salad with the avocado slices on top. Yum!

Irina said...

I've never cooked dried chickpeas but plan to give them a try one day, as I've heard they taste better than canned ones. For now, I'm pretty happy with my stockpile of canned chickpeas (I get the S&W brand at Costco)... I use them for chana masala, for hummus (of course!), and for mixing into salads - either mixed-greens or grain-based.

What did you think about the taste of home-cooked dried chickpeas compared to canned ones?

Diana said...

I love chickpeas too even though I've never cooked them from scratch just because I don't much like the boiling for 45 minutes. :)
However, the stay very well in the freezer so when you do boil them, you could boil a larger amount and store what you don't use in the freezer for up to 3 months. I do that with beans and it works out perfectly and saves a lot of time. :)
P.S. I never commented here but I do love your blog and have cooked a lot from it! Your photography and food styling is also such an inspiration! Thank you!

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

Diana, thank you so much for the sweet comment!! Glad you like my blog and are inspired by it. And of course you are right about freezing home cooked beans: works great!