There are two ways to go with holiday meals. Go all out with something new that you’ve been waiting for the perfect occasion to serve. Or, serve family favorites that bring comfort and joy to all. This year it’s all about comfort and joy. We’ll dine on Roasted Garbanzos w/ Greens, Tomatoes & Garlic, one of our very favorite vegetarian/vegan entrées. For a long time we ate this dish at least once a week. So now just the fragrance of the roasting garbanzos increases our anticipation and soothes our souls.
I came upon the original recipe that inspired my version a few years ago. It was part of an advertisement on a back page of a Saveur Magazine featuring Greek-American Chef Michael Psilakis. I was intrigued. I had never heard of roasting garbanzos—what a delight for the taste buds. The consistency of the garbanzos becomes almost “meaty” and their flavor much richer.
Doing it my way
Per usual, I’ve adapted this recipe over the years. Not only refining the cooking technique, but also by adding fresh, ripe tomatoes, replacing the shallots with leeks and green onions and simply sautéing the greens. Gorgeous colors, complex flavors and a variety of textures from soft vegetables to chewy garbanzos. On an inspiration, I once paired the Roasted Garbanzos with a dish of Cucumbers in Yogurt—and now consider them an integral part of the meal. The cooling, creamy cucumbers provide a wonderful contrast in both color and texture.
God Bless Us, Every One
We saw an excellent local performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol the other night. Tiny Tim’s final “God Bless Us, Every One” rang sweet and clear.
May you, each one, enjoy a most blessed holiday of deep peace, comfort and joy.
Inspired by and adapted from a recipe from Greek Chef Michael Psilakis.
Makes 4 servings as an entrée
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
3 cups cooked garbanzo beans (if using canned, drain and rinse before using)
6 medium garlic cloves, peeled and halved lengthwise
2 cups sliced leek, white and light green parts
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup diced tomatoes
2 large bay leaves
1½ teaspoons fennel seeds
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Few twists freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch Tuscan Kale or other greens, stemmed. Stems sliced ¼ inch thick and leaves cut into 1½ inch wide strips.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Serve garnished with a couple of spoonfuls of Cucumbers in Yogurt (recipe below)
Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
Cover the pan tightly with foil. Bake for 30 minutes.
Prepare the Cucumbers in Yogurt. Toss the cucumbers and green onions with the seasoned rice vinegar. Let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes. (See the recipe below)
Remove the roasted garbanzos from the oven and reduce the heat to 375 degrees. Remove the foil. Toss the garbanzo mixture and return it to the oven, uncovered, for another 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Leave the roasted garbanzos in the oven while you sauté the greens.
Heat the 2 tablespoons oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the stem pieces and cook for 1 minute. Add the leaves and sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add 2/3 cup of water. Cover the pan and cook for about 9-10 minutes until the Tuscan Kale is tender and the water has evaporated. Turn off the heat.
While the kale is cooking, stir the yogurt and cilantro into the yogurt.
When the kale is cooked, remove the roasted garbanzos from the oven. Remove the bay leaves and stir the mixture into the kale. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve hot, or at room temperature with the Cucumbers in Yogurt.
Note: If you use Swiss chard, use only 2 tablespoons of water. With other varieties of kale, start with 1 cup of water. They may take 15 or more minutes to soften.
A cool and creamy complement to the Roasted Garbanzos in both color and texture.
Makes 3-4 cups
Active time: 5 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Peel the cucumber but leave some strips of the peel in place. Halve and quarter the cucumber lengthwise. Cut into ¼ inch thick slices. Put the cucumber slices in a bowl.
Stir in the yogurt and coarsely chopped cilantro if using it. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
Click for printer-friendly recipes without images