Chickpeas, an All-Time Favorite

In Downtown Providence resides one of my favorite restaurants of all time: AS220 Foo(d). A description:

Our restaurant, AS220 F00(D) helps create the casual but always lively community gathering place found at AS220’s Empire St Complex. The open kitchen, counter service establishment serves a single seasonal menu and up to a half dozen creative specials daily during lunch and dinner hours, Tuesday through Saturday. AS220 Foo(d) works with local New England farms and food artisans to create fresh seasonal menu items and daily specials, in so far as availability and cost allow. Managed by Guy Michaud, AS220 FOO(D) serves up a fresh and constantly changing menu that includes a great selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes. The restaurant also provides six-month positions for youth involved with AS220 Youth and/or the Rhode Island Training School’s (RITS) culinary arts program. Profits from the restaurant go to supporting the organization’s not-for-profit work.

AS220 also does a lot of work with youth through their visual and performing arts programs (of which I have yet to attend!). In short, year-round they serve these amazing chickpeas. On multiple occasions I have tried to replicate the making at home. This I will show with one of my most recent creations.

Part 1: The Chickpeas

  • 2 cans of chickpeas
  • Olive oil (plenty of it handy)
  • Paprika
  • Cinnamon
  • Thyme
  • Salt
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes

We begin by heating up a pan with olive oil. Before you pour the beans into the pan, be sure they are fairly dry. Don’t go patting them with a towel or anything, just enough that the liquid can evaporate easily. This will make them crispy later.

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After a few minutes, starting adding paprika. Then some cinnamon. Think a 2:1 ratio of paprika to cinnamon. It’s really up to your taste buds in the end, though.

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After ten minutes of slowly adding spices and gradually more olive oil as needed, the chickpeas should begin to crisp. At this point, I added half of the can of diced tomatoes. Garlic or kale are also good foods to throw in.

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After a few minutes, I added thyme, waited another minute, and then put all the chickpeas into a giant bowl. Voila, part 1 is finished!

Part 2: The Rest

  • Quinoa
  • Zucchini
  • Diced tomatoes
  • 20140307-230435.jpg
    I actually began on the quinoa while making the chickpeas. It’s just like rice; put it in a pot with water and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

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    I whipped out the pan again, this time making a simple ‘pisto’ or ‘ratatouille’. Olive oil, sliced zucchini, diced tomatoes. Cook to your liking.

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    And, bam. Dinner-time.

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