This is adapted from a recipe by Jeremy Fox’s book ‘On Vegetables’ a favourite of mine. Whilst the book is not 100% Plant based, it is a great source of inspiration and many recipes are or can be adapted. Jeremy is not a vegetarian and the book is not about vegetarianism, it’s a book about Plants. If you’re looking for ‘10 easy weekday dinners for vegetarians’ this is not the book for you.
‘On Vegetables covers all the ground and more. It’s for both home cooks and chefs alike, it encapsulates Jeremy’s hard earned culinary insight and sense of humour, it reminds us of the pleasures of being in the kitchen and the life giving power of food.’ David Chang.
This recipe might not look like anything special but boy does it pack a punch, it reminds me of my summers in Ibiza, eating tapas in the old town and drinking chilled red wine. This is the sort of tapas dish to be eaten whilst drinking a good (room temperature) Spanish red any time of year, but because of its comforting nature, I like to eat it in the winter.
The adaptions I made are small, and this was mainly due to the fact that the recipe calls for dried chickpeas.I have a huge jar of dry chickpeas in my pantry, but that morning I had made a Aquafaba Pavlova, therefor I had 2 tins of drained cooked chickpeas that needed eating, they could of made hummus or gone in a curry but I had had my eye on this for a while. It worked perfectly, the dish was incredibly and the chickpeas were so delicious and creamy. I would however go to the trouble of using dried next time, to see what difference it makes. Another small change was the fact that I added 1 large garlic clove and 2 bay leaves to the bag of vegetables for the broth. The final adjustment was the fact that I oven roasted my tomatoes for about 20 minutes on a medium high heat. I normally roast tomatoes long and slow, but I wanted them to char a little as Jeremy suggests when grilling his. I then stirred them through the chickpeas and broth just before serving, as opposed to placing them on top.
2 cups (400g) dried Chickpeas soaked overnight in 6 cups (1.4lts) water
2 celery stalks
8 fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
1 garlic clove bashed with skin left on.
Sea salt fresh ground black pepper
½ cup good extra virgin olive oil plus more for brushing the bread
48 cherry tomatoes red or a mix of red and yellow
4 slices of crusty rustic bread
2 medium tomatoes grated, or if not in season substitute the juice of good canned tomatoes
1-2 whole garlic cloves peeled and cut in half
Flaky sea salt
Drain the chickpeas, place in a large pot with 6 cups of cold water.
Cut the carrot, celery and leek into small chunks, wrap them up in a cheesecloth/muslin along with the garlic clove, thyme and bay leaves. Tie some string around the top to make a sachet/bag. Pop this into the pot with the chickpeas.
Bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Reduce the heat to just below a simmer and cook until the chickpeas are creamy and soft, 1 hour 15 minutes to 2 hours.
(If you use tinned chickpeas, drain and rinse them, before following the same instructions, only about 1-1.5 hours of cooking should be enough)
Remove the chickpeas from the heat and discard the sachet of vegetables and herbs. Generously season with salt (the broth should taste great by itself) and lots of black pepper.
Add the olive oil, I used the whole ½ cup but you can pull back a bit if you like.
Give it a stir and taste for seasoning.
Let it just sit and rest a while you roast the tomatoes, pre heat the oven to 160°C and place the tomatoes with a drizzle of light oil and a sprinkling of salt into an oven dish. Roast in the oven until the skins have burst and they are a little charred on the outside, about 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on them.
Preheat a grill or griddle pan and brush the bread slices with some extra virgin olive oil. Toast the bread on the griddle pan on both sides.
Once the bread is finished toasting, rub the cut garlic cloves over the toast and dip one side into the grated tomato, so it soaks up a good amount of juice, then sprinkle with sea salt.
Just before serving add the tomatoes to the chickpeas and gentle stir. Turn the heat on and gentle reheat them, before ladling the hot chickpeas, tomatoes and broth into bowls and serving with a slice of tomato bread.