Olive oil braised chick peas: the JtB recipe that prevents unintended hunger strikes.
You know that feeling when you're motivated and getting so many things done just knocking your goals down like 10-pins? Yeah, me neither. For some reason, the last few weeks I have been struggling like hell. I can't seem to get motivated, I've even gotten really weird a few times and gone to that metaphysical place we sometimes unintentionally get to in times like this: questioning our existence (what am i even doing writing a blog?), asking hopelessly skewed questions of ourselves (why am I here? who reads blogs, anyway?). It's been a real guess I'll eat some worms kind of week(s).
Maybe this is just how life is, maybe this is my current homeopathic remedy (for low grade depression), maybe this is completely meaningless, and I'm just fretting for no reason. Whatever the meaning of my life is, I know this: if I hadn't bumped into this recipe, I might have just not eaten several times. Or at the very least, Hubs would have been buying us a lot of hamburgers. If you follow the various awesome food blogs and Instagram feeds I do, this recipe might be nothing new to you. It's been featured on the blog it debuted on - that is, on the blog of the lovely lady who came up with it - Joy the Baker, and on the food 52 aggregate post that celebrated it, and also on another food blogger's Instagram stories feed, which is where I first found it. Why has it gotten so much traction, you ask? Because it's brainless, no-fail, way easier than pie, and healthy to boot.
Like many great recipes, it's more of a guideline to food combining greatness, than a recipe, and is easily tweaked to your own liking. I like to add crushed red pepper, and Kalamata olives to mine, because I think those things improve almost anything savory. Below, you'll find Joy the Baker's recipe with just a few very minor edits of my own. I've (a little embarrassingly) made this recipe so many times now that I'm pretty solid on exactly how I like it, but you may prefer it the way Joy originally wrote it. So, without further ado, make you some olive oil braised chick peas - it's a delicious dish, full of healthy fats, and a nice amount of vegetarian protein. Once you have a full belly, you can get on with your 2017 goals - Lord knows I need help with gearing into mine.
OLIVE OIL BRAISED CHICK PEAS
- 2 (15 ounce) cans chick peas
- 1 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup capers, drained
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tsp crushed red peppers (or to taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup Kalamata olives sliced into halves or thirds
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- smoked paprika for serving
- lemon wedges for squeezing at serving
- crusty bread for serving
preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Wash the chickpeas. Drain both cans and wash and strain the chick peas.
- Saute the onion. Cook the chopped onion to just clear and soft, but not brown. They will bake in the oven another 40 minutes, we're just releasing the moisture and pre-cooking them a bit here.
- Layer the ingredients. Place the onions in the bottom of an oven safe casserole, add chickpeas, capers, olives, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper. Add the thyme sprigs and give everything a good stir so it all combines.
- Add the oil. It should cover the bottom of the pan, and come up the sides a bit too. It doesn't need to cover all the ingredients, but should at least bathe them half way.
- Bake. Cover with foil, or if your casserole has a lid, use it. Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until chick peas are more tender than when decanted from the cans.
- Top with feta. Remove the foil or lid, sprinkle crumbled feta on top and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
- Garnish and serve. Serve the chick peas with crusty bread. Squeeze with lemon, and smoked paprika. Salt again if preferred.
(Barely) adapted from Joy the Baker
- Adjust any of the ingredients as you like. This is an incredibly flexible recipe. I like mine oilier, and spicier than the original recipe (and with olives). I also tend to go a little heavier on the cheese. Do your thing.
- This dish reheats brilliantly and can feed you for a couple of days if you don't mind eating the same meal again and again - which is totally how I roll, beany or not.
- Although toast is one of my favorite foods on earth, the bread you serve with this will soak up more oil if you don't toast it, and since the reason I add more oil is that for me the oil is the main event, I don't toast the bread. Toasts or no toasts, you do you.
- For me this dish is good with a LOT of lemon juice, and some extra salt on top. I like things sour and salty, so that makes sense. Joy the Baker also suggests serving it with hard boiled eggs. Again, choose your own adventure.
- If you wanna get down with some aquafaba experiments, save your bean water.