Monday, December 20, 2010

My favourite thing to do with a can of chickpeas...

Maybe you know you're going to have an evening out braving the crowds for some last minute Christmas shopping. You know you'll be exhausted when you come home, but before you reach for the phone to call for a grease laden pizza, consider this recipe! It requires very little prep time, and mostly uses pantry staples. You've got a lonely can of beans in your cupboard, right?

For the record, yes, I do consider bacon a staple.

I made this recipe last March for the first time, and my husband regularly requests it. And by regularly, I mean at least once weekly. He doesn't get it that often, but it is one that's in regular rotation in our house.

Lately, we've been on a huge legume kick (see yesterday's quesadilla recipe). And for me, nothing pairs better with legumes of all shapes and sizes than something smoky and porky. This recipe comes from Cooking Light, serves four and will satisfy even the biggest meat eater in your house. We usually buy good quality bacon from Rowe Farms. It's naturally smoked and free of all those nasty chemicals present in most processed smoked meats.

Chickpeas with Broccoli Rabe and Bacon

(Cooking Light March '10)


1  pound  broccoli rabe, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1  tablespoon  olive oil
6  slices center-cut bacon, chopped
1  cup  chopped onion
1/2  teaspoon  dried oregano
1/8  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
6  garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1  (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
2  ounces  Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. Cook broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add bacon; sauté 3 minutes, stirring frequently. 
3. Stir in onion, oregano, and red pepper; sauté 4 minutes or until onion begins to soften, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add chickpeas; sauté 1 minute. 
4. Stir in broccoli rabe, salt, and black pepper; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, tossing to combine. 
5. Place about 1 1/2 cups chickpea mixture on each of 4 plates; shave 1/2 ounce cheese evenly over each serving.

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