Monday, 21 February 2011

Revithia: Greek Baked Chickpeas

Chickpeas are an often overlooked legume, but in the ancient world they were an absolute staple. More 'modern' thoughts about cookery and ingredients focus on animal flesh, and as such legumes are thought of as 'hippie food' or at best filler. Perhaps amongst the slightly more cultured chickpeas may be viewed as only good for hummus.

This dish is said to have it's origins in ancient Greece. Traditionally it would be cooked overnight in the village baker's oven. Sometimes it is saucier, in line more with a soup, but I personally like mine drier. You can serve this is as a main or a side. If you're like me you could probably eat the whole lot all by yourself.

"Cicero's cognomen, or personal surname, comes from the Latin for chickpea, cicer. Plutarch explains that the name was originally given to one of Cicero's ancestors who had a cleft in the tip of his nose resembling a chickpea. However, it is more likely that Cicero's ancestors prospered through the cultivation and sale of chickpeas."

serves 2-3 as a side

450g chickpeas, cooked or tinned (x2 400g tins, drained)
1 XL onion, halved & thickly sliced
4-6 cloves garlic, very roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
1-2 t dried savory, or dried marjoram (if can't find savory)
1-2 t dried rosemary
1 t dried parsley flakes
4 tbsp/80ml olive oil, preferably Greek
4 tbsp/80ml water
1 lemon, juice only

Preheat an oven to 150°C/300°F.
Place chickpeas, oil, water in a large oven-safe dish.
Add bay leaves, savory/marjoram, rosemary, parsley, garlic, onion.
Season with salt & pepper.
Stir well.
Cover dish with lid or foil.
Bake for 90-120 mins.
Remove from oven.
Leave to cool with lid/foil on for 5-10 mins.
Add lemon juice.
Stir well.
Remove bay leaves, if you like.
Serve immediately.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Raw Cake with Runny Vanilla Cream

One of the joys of raw cakes is that you can make it entirely the day before and not have to worry about it tasting like it was made yesterday.

If you aren't worried about using entirely raw ingredients feel free to use non-raw agave syrup, unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla extract instead. Lecithin granules, psyllium husks, cocoa butter, coconut oil should be easily obtainable at most health food stores. Here in Denmark you can buy psyllium husks in Føtex & Bilka - HUSK psylliumfrøskaller. You can also buy coconut oil & agave syrup in Irma, Føtex & Bilka. For lecithin granules (lecithin granulat) & cocoa butter (kakaosmør) I suggest asking in your nearest health food shop or ordering online through rawandmore, those in Copenhagen can get a pick-up service from their other store on Istedgade.

Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Raw Cake w Runny Vanilla Cream
prep & 'cook' around 5 hours
serves 6-8

120g pitted dates
1 tbsp cocoa butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
60ml agave syrup
2 t vanilla powder
4 tbsp (raw) cocoa powder
60g brazil nuts, soaked in water 2 hours & drained

180g cashews, soaked in water 2 hours & drained
70ml agave syrup
1 tbsp lecithin granules
2 tbsp coconut oil
100g raspberries, if frozen; thawed & drained
1 t psyllium husks

50ml water
2 t vanilla powder
60ml agave syrup
1 1/2 tbsp lecithin granules
30g almond pieces

fresh mint or lemon balm (to garnish)

In separate bowls, soak brazil nuts & cashews in water for 2 hours.
Line a 20cm or two 10-12cm spring form cake tin/s with baking paper.

In a processor or blender,
Blend all ingredients until well mixed & roughly chopped.
Using a spoon, press down base into bottom of spring form/s.
Make sure that it is even & tightly packed.
Freeze 1 hour.

Purée cashews, agave, lecithin, coconut oil.
Add raspberries.
Purée until smooth.
Add psyllium husks.
Purée until mixed through.
Pour or spoon into spring form/s over base.
Make sure it is even and tap out any air bubbles.
Freeze 1 hour or until completely set.
1 hour before serving, remove from freezer.
Carefully remove sides of spring form/s.
Leave to thaw, if it's warm thaw it in fridge.

Purée all until smooth, creamy & pale yellow.
Leave covered in the fridge to thicken slightly, about 30 mins.

Slice cake.
Garnish with fresh mint or lemon balm.
Serve with a dollop of the cream.