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.
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.
Remove bay leaves, if you like.
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