Chick, chick, chick…

Friday night. Got to throw something together that will cook without needing much watching, while I take a deep breath and tackle piles of clothes various. Out of the cupboard and into the pot come chickpeas. Satisfaction guaranteed.

It’s probably been a bit of a chickpea week. Dan found and commandeered a three pack of hummus on offer at the Coop – that went down a treat. Ever tried editing a newsletter together, while one of you types and the other feeds each of you scoops of hummus on fingers of toast? Worth it.

I’d had red pepper hummus before, and like it, but the star of the show was hummus with added lemon and coriander. Lots of citrus, lots of tang. We kind of tried sharing it. (And clearly both went and snuck some at other times when we thought we were alone.)

I don’t know quite when it was I discovered chickpeas. I learned at school that Cicero meant ‘chickpea’. Hard work getting your way through his speeches in Latin. Easier eating chickpeas.

I do remember making load after load of hummus with a goblet liquidiser at university (said liquidiser had been used to make my baby food and was passed on to me when I was at university). Quick, easy, cheap, and satisfying.

Chickpeas are also part of my memory of our Italian friends’ firstborn. I made a stew of aubergine, chick peas and tomatoes, as something that could be eaten as and when time and babies permitted eating.

The dad told me that he went to visit mum and baby in hospital over a couple of days, came home and ate more of the casserole. Same every time. Good job chickpeas are comforting too.

Later, chickpeas were a treat – I paired them with tuna, as a slightly chunkier filling for baked potatoes, while in Poland after leaving university. There, they were an expensive supermarket addition, rather than my weekly market shopping, but worth it.

Dan doesn’t go for this combination, but I still like it – the dryness of the chickpeas goes well with the moister tuna, and the slight bite of the beans against the softness of tuna. Give it a whirl. Good alongside other salads too, in summery months.

I’ve tried making chickpea soup from scratch, following the recipe from Dear Francesca. Not the greatest success. Perhaps cooking dried chickpeas is not my thing. What I should consider is making my own falafel – that would get Dan’s attention for sure.

My ode to the nutty little bean is done. The hummus has run out. The evening veg and bean meal has long gone. But there’s still another tin of chickpeas in the cupboard for another day.

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