Socca (savory chickpea pancake)
Topped with a Salad of Spring Lettuce
Egg, Feta, Radish, Chili, Olives, Dill, Lemon, Tahini Sauce
Socca, a savory chickpea pancake, is known as Nice’s original street food. Often served au naturel in Provence, cut into shards as snack, pleasantly with a glass of chilled rosé. Socca can also be served with all kinds of toppings for a delightful lunch. It is usually baked on a large round flat copper pan in a wood-burning oven.
In this recipe, nontraditional cumin and smoked paprika added to the batter mimic the smokiness of a wood-burning oven. And a non-stick skillet on the stovetop stands in for the copper pan and makes cooking the socca a breeze.
Socca As A Snack with Rosé
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Chickpea Stew with Lots of Veggies
Kale, Cabbage, Spinach, Carrot, Onion, Celery, Tomato
We are cooking in some challenging times, my friends. But we can do this and we can do this well! Look in the fridge and get excited!
We are cooking without the luxury of just popping over to the supermarket to get whatever ingredient our original recipe requires.
Today’s meal started in the pantry with a can of chickpeas and progressed to the veggie drawer in the fridge. There was a very small head of cabbage left over from my Stuffed Cabbage rolls. Less than a half bag of pre-washed spinach, and an aging bunch of curly kale.
Staples of carrot, onion, celery and garlic are almost always on hand. It was here that this hearty, healthy, satisfying stew recipe began to take shape.
Also, don’t underestimate dried herbs. They definitely have flavor and can substitute for fresh in these unusual times. Hopefully the dried herbs in your pantry are not too old!
Chickpea Stew Recipe
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Chickpea Lovers’ Pasta e Ceci
Oil Painting Version
Not in the mood to shop for dinner? Nor spend too much time in the kitchen? This ultimate pantry dish is tasty, healthy, and satisfying without a lot of prep. Pasta e Ceci is made from ingredients that are usually in the cupboard – dried pasta, canned chickpeas, canned tomato. And if you have a rosemary bush in the garden, even the fresh herb is handy.
This is the “chickpea lovers” version – not only does it include whole ceci (chickpeas) plus blended ceci in the broth – the pasta from my friends at Explore Cuisine is made from chickpea flour loaded with protein and fiber. And it’s naturally lower-carb and gluten-free too.
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Several months ago I came across a recipe for “Salmon in Bengali Mustard Sauce” in Saveur magazine. I’ve made it over and over with different fish and various vegetables. The preparation is simple and the flavor combination is stellar. My modified spinach version makes a fabulous vegan entree spooned on top of basmati rice – or a fragrant vegetable side dish to fish, meat, or chicken.
Spinach & Chickpeas in a Bengali Mustard Sauce Recipe
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Tagine of Spicy Lamb Meatballs
With Chickpeas and Yuzu
Served Over Couscous
Garnished with Red Chile, Cilantro, and Mint
The inspiration for this awesome recipe came from the little cookbook, TAGINE: Spicy Stews from Morocco, by Ghillie Basan. They used this dish for the photo on the cover of the book. It looked so tasty, within minutes of pulling this book off the shelf, I was off to the butcher for some fresh ground lamb. And since my yuzu tree is full of ripe fruits, I decided to use yuzu (a Japanese citrus) in place of the lemon in Ghillie’s recipe. I made some other changes to her basic recipe, including the omission of butter and the addition of chickpeas. With all the spices, herbs and citrus, this dish is a real winner.
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