Slow Cooked Chickpeas with Lemon, Celery and Dijon

Written by Eydie Desser

I was cleaning out my pantry and saw that I had a lot of dried chickpeas that needed to be cooked, before they got too old.  Oh, how the delicious memory came over me of this dish I made over 17 years ago. It’s a Greek recipe I found in one of my favorite magazines, Intermezzo, a travel and food publication.  The original recipe calls for 2/3 cup of oil and some salt. Garden of Eydie always omits these calorie dense and inflammatory ingredients, and guess what, there was absolutely no difference in taste! Soaked chickpeas are braised in vegetable stock with carrots and celery for several hours.  Dijon and lemon juice are added just before serving. Serve with a side of steamed vegetables, and this is a meal you soon won’t forget.

Instructions

  • 2 1/2 cups dried chickpeas (try to get fresh chickpeas less than 1 year old)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped onions
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced 
  • ½-1 tsp. Aleppo pepper or pinch of crushed red pepper flakes 
  • 1 1/2 cups no salt vegetable stock 
  • 1 piece fresh or orange peel, avoiding pith  (about 3” x 1”)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice or more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients

Soak the chickpeas in a lot of water to cover the beans by 2” to 3”.  Stir in the baking soda, and soak overnight. Next day, drain and rinse the beans under cold running water.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

1- Place a 5-½-quart heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat on the stovetop, bringing it up to temperature for about 1 minute.  Add onions and stir quickly for 30 seconds, lower the heat to medium low, cover the pot and let the onions sweat for about 2 minutes.  Lift the lid, give the onions a stir and add in the carrots, chickpeas and Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes, then add the stock or water, the orange peel and celery. Bring to a boil then  remove the pot from the heat. Cover the dish with a piece of parchment paper, then cover the parchment paper with a double layer of aluminum foil and then cover with the lid on top.  

2- Place the pot in the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 250°F.  Cook for 4- 6 hours, or until the chickpeas are very tender. If the chickpeas are super fresh, then 4 hours will do it.  If the beans are older, then it might take as long as 6 hour to fully cook the chickpeas until they are tender. Add mustard and lemon juice, taste and adjust the seasonings, adding black pepper to taste. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature. 

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