By Einat Mazor
Over five dozen (count ’em, five dozen) chickpea recipes for any time of the day… sweet and savory, international, vegan (V), vegetarian (Vg), and gluten-free (GF) ideas for breakfast (Ultimate Omelet), lunch (Antipasti Salad), and dinner (Tangy Chicken Stew). Half a dozen beet, dill, guacamole, mint, pea and Jerusalem hummus recipes are included. Mazor shares over a dozen recipes for spreads, snacks, soups (not too cold, not too hot, but just right), salads, baked treats, and two dozen entrées: ragout, tagine, stew, pilaf, and more.
Chickpeas includes everything you need to know about chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), which are humble, nutritional powerhouses that are so versatile. Chickpeas are one of the earliest cultivated legumes, and there are three main varieties: Desi, which cooks in less time, is more fibrous, and can easily be found pre-cooked in cans (be sure to rinse before using) or dried in your local grocery store. The two other varieties are Bombay and Kabuli. Mazor recommends pre-soaking dried chickpeas overnight, replacing the water a few times to reduce the cooking time of approximately two hours (my favorite method is using the pressure cooker for quick results!), and suggests storing extra cooked chickpeas in your freezer.
The inviting format lists the chapters on the ‘Contents’ pages: Spreads & Snacks, Soups & Salads, Entrees, and Baked Treats. Each recipe features a terrific color photo. Each ingredient list is followed by clear, simple, numerical instructions. The majority of the recipes use whole chickpeas, and several call for chickpea flour (found at natural grocery stores). Mazor, a chef and caterer, adds chickpeas to traditional Japanese, Mediterranean and Italian dishes.
Try the Sweet Surprise Cake for teatime, a chickpea veggie burger as a good alternative to meat, or a chickpea flour pizza crust to taste the versatility that chickpeas provide.
For over thirty years, Lois Friedman has been immersed in food culture and cookbooks. She has written “Read It And Eat” previews of cookbooks for The Desert Leaf and other local publications, done guest presentations at Canyon Ranch, hosted the Omaha Library Read It And Eat Culinary Conference, taught cooking classes and demonstrations, and now brings her expertise to her Read It And Eat blog for Edible Baja Arizona.