Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chick Peas Romesco!

I made this wonderful dish a couple of evenings ago. I served it as a main entree the first night and as a side dish after that. I ate it again last night as my entree, on a bed of barley cooked in organic veggie broth, with a salad of red and green butter lettuces, my homegrown heirloom tomatoes and homegrown basil. I am not getting tired of eating Chick Peas Romesco, and will miss it after I finish it off for lunch today.  This delicious recipe is from the vegan bible Veganomicon, by  Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Everything I have made from this book has been wonderful and I highly recommend it.

As is my custom, I followed this recipe loosely, avoiding a trip to the store for only a few ingredients. In this case I only had one red bell pepper, and one can of chickpeas, so I added a can of cannelini beans. I did not have a serrano chili, so I used a generous shake of red pepper flakes. I didn't have red wine vinegar so I used Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar. I used fresh rosemary and thyme, and more of these than is called for, since the dried herbs can be a stronger flavor. And finally, adding sugar if I don't have to makes me start to twitch, so I poured in a couple of tablespoons of sherry instead for sweetness. I love how sherry rounds out salty and acidic flavors, especially in sauces or soups where it doesn't matter how much liquid you add. I was actually surprised that I had on hand all the other ingredients:  Almonds, canned tomatoes, olive oil, cloves of garlic, shallots, chickpeas.

The flavor of this dish was quite unique, and actually blasted me right back (should I say how far? Oh heck you already know how old I am) 27 years ago when I was in Spain at the tender age of 18.  It was my high school graduation trip and I was in the Spanish Club! In spanish cooking, almonds figure prominently, ground, as in this dish, and otherwise. It really changes the flavor and texture of the food. I had to use care cooking this dish, making sure my 16 year old son was on the other side of the house. He is deathly allergic to tree nuts and could go into anaphlaxis  if he breathes or eats almonds. Therefore, this type of recipe won't come around here too often. So let me go now, and enjoy these chick peas' last hurrah!

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