the best pot of chickpeas

best chickpeas

I’ve been cooking chickpeas from dry at home for many years- it’s cheaper, less waste since I buy them in the bulk section in my own bag, and they taste so much better than canned. I use them for hummus, soups, roasting and adding to soups and salads in lieu of croutons, in bowls, even cookies. Chickpeas are my favorite legume by far. Something is just so comforting about them. I even tell this old Italian fairy tale to my kids about a chickpea boy, Cecino.

Then I came across this recipe inspired by Mina Stone’s Cooking for Artists and it blew my chickpea loving world. It’s so simple and not that different from how I was already cooking them before (with bay, garlic, olive oil)- just adding onion and lemon takes this to the next level- bright, rich broth with tender, perfectly seasoned beans. The real star here is the richly flavored broth that you get as a side bonus. It is excellent, almost like a rich chicken broth. I always use chickpea broth in soups- hello pasta e ceci- but this…. this broth is incredible. You can (and I have been) just treating this like a soup, ladling the hot chickpeas and their broth into bowls with chopped tuscan kale and fresh slices of lemon, parsley leaves, and fresh slices of serrano chile. It would also make an excellent base for caldo tlalpeño, another cool weather favorite of ours.

the best pot of chickpeas

lightly adapted from Bon Appetit’s Best Chickpeas, which in turn is from Mina Stone

1 lb / 450g dried chickpeas, soaked*
a medium onion, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
4 large strips lemon zest
2 bay leaves or a big sprig fresh thyme
1/4 cup / 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp kosher salt OR 2 tsp fine salt
freshly ground black pepper

Add everything to a pot (I like to use my dutch oven) along with 2 quarts / 2 liters water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until chickpeas are tender, 1-2 hours depending on freshness and size of your chickpeas. Use straightaway or let cool and transfer to airtight containers along with the cooking liquid. Will keep up to a week in the fridge.

* soak at least overnight, then drain and rinse before proceeding. I like to soak my beans at least 24 hrs, up to 48 hrs, for digestive and nutritional reasons. They also cook faster and more evenly when soaked.

best chickpeas