Chickpeas (or garbanzo beans, as they’re known in the US), that excellent store-cupboard ingredient that helps one to make many an excellent meal. A filling chickpea and tuna salad with smoked paprika powder. A healthy vegetarian side dish consisting of chickpeas and pomegranate molasses. A quick tortilla wrap with chickpeas and tuna. A chickpea and tomato soup with smoked paprika. A chickpea and tomato soup with Moroccan spices. A quick hummus with beets. Or a quick hummus with wild garlic, come ramp or ramson season. Or a quick hummus with harissa paste, if you want something a wee bit spicier.
I always keep some in the cupboard, as they are indeed an excellent stand-by.
Chickpeas and smoked paprika powder (pimentón) is a match made in heaven, and this is utilised in this wonderful Spanish creation, garbanzos y chorizo. No pimentón or smoked paprika powder – pimentón de la Vera is considered the best – is needed, but you need a good-quality Spanish cooking chorizo that is seasoned with pimentón to start with. I came across a locally-made chorizo sausage last weekend – produced by Liivimaa Lihaveis – and decided to try an old favourite chorizo-and-chickpea (or chorizo-and-garbanzo) dish of mine*, and see, if the locally produced chorizo stands up to the proper Spanish one.
It did, I’m happy to admit.
Chickpeas with chorizo
Serves four to six
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion
1 red or yellow bell pepper
300 g cooking chorizo
400 g canned chopped tomatoes
800 g canned chickpeas (that’s 2 regular cans)
about a cup of water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh parsley, finely chopped
Peel the onion, halve and cut into thin slices. Halve and deseed the pepper, then cut into thin strips. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Cut the chorizo into thin slices.
Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan or a large sauté pan. Add the onion and pepper and a sprinkle of salt and sauté over moderate heat for about 5 minutes, stirring every now and then.
Increase the heat, add the chorizo and fry for another few minutes, until the chorizo is slightly browned.
Add the chopped tomatoes, then pour about a cup of water into the tomato can, give it a quick swirl and pour into the pan. Add the chickpeas. Bring into a simmer, reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer gently for about 20 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle some herbs on top and serve with some crusty bread and a fresh green salad.
NOTE: This reheats well (you can add some water, if too dry), and it also tastes great when cold.