Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Chickpea Sauté with Greek Yogurt

[Photographs: Jonathan Lovekin]

Fried into balls of falafel, stewed into a chana masala or blended into ubiquitous hummus, the chickpea has long been a vegetarian staple. Hearty, protein-packed, and possessing that kind of meaty texture that animal product-free diets crave, it's the workhorse of the meatless kitchen. But it's just this kind of usability that casts the chickpea in a somewhat humdrum light.

To combat chickpea fatigue, Yotam Ottolenghi chef and author of Plenty created this reimagined take on a vegetarian classic, a humble preparation of sautéed chickpeas. His Chickpea Sauté with Greek Yogurt incorporates flavors that are both expected—garlic and cilantro—and entirely new—caraway and mint.

This lively combination, along with a generous squeeze of lemon juice (don't be shy, the acidity really makes the dish) works to elevate the chickpeas into something unexpectedly delicious and satisfying. Each bite of chickpeas brings bursts of fresh herbs and pops of caraway. The finishing touch is a few spoonfuls of thick Greek yogurt enriched with olive oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. The yogurt works as both a condiment and a sauce, coating the chickpeas and accentuating their lemony character.

This recipe can be made with canned or dried chickpeas but if time allows, go with dry. They keep an almost meaty bite and have a much heartier texture than their sometimes mushy canned counterparts.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Plenty to give away this week.

Adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. Copyright © 2011. Published by Chronicle Books. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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