Chickpea Spread & Confit

CHICKPEA SPREAD
REVYTHOSALATA

Makes One Quart

This is a Greek version of hummus that captures the soul of the Mediterranean. For this recipe, be sure to use premium-quality imported sun-dried tomatoes; they should be plump and soft with a red hue.

Ingredients:

  • ½ Spanish or sweet onion thickly sliced
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and crackled black pepper
  • 40 large, plump sun-dried tomatoes (about 2 cups)
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 large shallots, thickly sliced
  • 8 leaves basil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups Chickpea Confit drained **

 

Brush the onion slices with a little olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper. On a hot griddle pan or in a cast-iron skillet, grill until tender and slightly char-marked.

In a food processor, combine the grilled onion, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, shallots, basil, and cumin. Pulse into a chunky puree. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, then the lemon juice. The mixture should be quite smooth.

Transfer to a large bowl and add the Chickpea Confit. Fold together to blend. Return to the food processor in batches, and puree until the mixture is smooth and thick. Season to taste with pepper and salt (if the sun-dried tomatoes are very salty, you may not need much). The texture is a matter of taste; if it is very thick, add a little more olive oil to yield a creamier result. Well covered, the spread will last for at least a week in the refrigerator.

*For two different textures, puree half the spread until very smooth and pale, and leave the other half chunky

*If you refrigerate the spread overnight, you can return it to a nice creamy texture by rewhipping in the food processor (pulse on and off for 1 minute).

* The Wedge: Cut a small triangle of pita and smear with Chickpea Spread. Top with a pinch of crumbled feta and some sliced scallions, pickled sprigs of parsley or dill, and a few slivers of olive.

 

Chickpea Confit

Makes About 3 Cups

Ingredients:

  • Cloves from 1 head of garlic, separated and peeled
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 ½ cups cooked chickpeas or 28-ounce can best quality chickpeas (such as Goya), well rinsed and well drained
  • Kosher salt and whole black peppercorns
  • Blended oil (50 percent canola, 50 percent extra-virgin olive), as needed

 

In a Dutch oven or a heavy pot, combine the garlic, cumin, mustard seeds, and chickpeas. Season liberally with kosher salt and pepper, and barely cover with blended oil.

Cover the pot and cook at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until aromatic but not browned, about 45 minutes.

When the mixture is cool, transfer it, with all the oil, to a sterilized glass container and use as you like. If the chickpeas are covered with oil, the confit will last for at least 3 weeks in the refrigerator. Always save the oil for another use, for example, in a cumin vinaigrette or for sautéing.

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