What to Do With Chickpeas That Isn't Hummus
There’s nothing wrong with hummus! But chickpeas can do so much more.
Grilled Carrot Hummus
The “freedom” of freelance writing is overrated. True, I’m not tethered to a desk for a 9-to-5 workday (“The world is your office!” a friend recently texted). And while this might suggest a chill schedule of hip coffee shops and leisurely al fresco lunches (insert photo of women in fedoras and sunglasses clinking glasses of rosé), my reality is a bit different.As a working mom, my days are condensed and bookended by school drop-off (where I can be spotted in questionable freelance attire, like wool clogs and yoga pants)and pick-up. Time is forever at a deficit, and deadlines are always rumbling over my shoulder. Because I tend to devote breaks to dog walks, sweaty vinyasa classes, and an occasional plunge into Barton Springs, meals are often eaten on the fly.I rely on a roster of “working girl lunches,” things to have on hand that are nourishing, tasty, and can be assembled in Olympic-record-breaking time. A perfect avocado, sprinkled with kosher salt and drizzled with olive oil, is an example. I’m always thrilled to have something to slather on toasted bread or warm corn tortillas, such as bean purees, creamy yogurt dips with greens, smoked fish spread, or this riff on hummus (made with chickpeas and sweet, smoky grilled carrots) that’s so delicious I’ve nicknamed it Carrot Yummus.To mimic the creamy texture of chickpeas, the carrots are parboiled and finished on a hot grill. A spin over the fire brands the carrots with smoky charred flavor that complements their natural sweetness. You can grill the carrots a couple days in advance—a perfect way to make the most of lingering heat after you’ve fired up something else for dinner. If you’re lucky enough to get fresh farmers market carrots, don’t bother peeling their thin skin; just rinse and scrape off any sprouts with a paring knife.Feel free to riff on the recipe to suit your whims. Lemon juice can be replaced with white or cider vinegar; cumin, smoked paprika, and fresh herbs are other nice additions. A kick of some kind of heat is essential—use your favorite hot sauce, sambal oelek, red chile salsa, or a pinch of cayenne.Carrot Yummus can go fast or fancy. For a working girl lunch, I eat it with Sesame Blues tortilla chips and several dashes of Cholula. It’s also delicious on toasted multigrain bread with slices of hard-boiled egg and sprouts. When I serve it as a first course for a dinner party, I pair it with grilled pita bread, marinated cherry tomatoes, and crunchy, colorful crudité like shaved watermelon radishes and fennel. But trust me, it’s just as good in the carpool line out of a Tupperware that I stashed in my purse before dashing out the door. A working girl’s gotta eat, after all.
Chickpeas and Kale in Spicy Pomodoro Sauce
Chef Missy Robbins of Brooklyn’s Lilia restaurant swaps chickpeas for pasta in her riff on spicy pomodoro. She finishes the dish with a shower of fresh herbs and salty pecorino cheese.In 2018, Food & Wine named this recipe one of our 40 best: It comes as little surprise that our pick for 2017 is a quick, simple, and eminently usable vegetable-based dish. The recipe is from Missy Robbins of Brooklyn’s award-winning Lilia restaurant, who turns classic pasta al pomodoro on its head. In her spicy, healthy, and addictive version, Robbins (who was named a Best New Chef in 2010 for her cooking at A Voce) swaps out pasta in favor of nourishing chickpeas and tangles of kale. She says, “I created this dish when I was watching my weight, and I needed the satisfaction and flavor of a good red-sauce pasta— without using pasta. It’s an amazing one-pan dish that’s packed with richness but doesn’t take a long time to make.” For additional flavor, she tops the bowl with fresh herbs and salty pecorino Romano.
Coconut Chickpeas with Winter Squash
Starchy, slightly sweet plantains are a natural addition to winter squash. Here, New York chef JJ Johnson simmers both, along with canned chickpeas, in coconut milk that’s steeped with aromatics. The result is creamy, fragrant, and so comforting. Slideshow: More Chickpea Recipes