Eggplants have always been a difficult vegetable for me. They come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and stripes and are surrounded by dos and don'ts. But with enough delicious recipes under your belt, it's pretty easy to overlook the post-cooking appearance and realize that all those dos and don'ts are really more suggestions than hard-and-fast rules. This recipe, which combines small Italian eggplants cooked whole in olive oil along with harissa, chickpeas, and tomatoes, is one such preparation.
'chickpea' on Serious Eats
I love chickpeas. I'll eat them every which way, and sometimes right out of the can. But I don't usually do much to them before adding them to a dish. In this salad from her new vegan cookbook, Salad Samurai, Terry Hope Romero inspires me to do more. To make them the star of this show, she fries them until golden, and pours on a BBQ-inspired marinade that coats the now crispy chickpeas with smoky-sweet flavor.
Chickpeas go a bit rogue in this pepperoni, lemon zest, and Parmesan-stippled salad—the perfect option for an oven-free, summertime side.
When summer hits, one of my favorite dishes is tabbouleh, its bright and fresh aroma from the various chopped herbs interspersed with airy bites of bulgur. Here, I swap the bulgur for chickpeas that are crisped in a pan with shallots, a generous hit of cumin, freshly shucked corn kernels and bite-sized asparagus. Combined with the chopped herbs and topped with sumac-filled yogurt, it makes a nutrient-packed, fresh summer dish that hits the table in less than 30 minutes.
This one-pot dish of chickpeas in a spicy harissa sauce with a fried egg doesn't just have to be breakfast: It's delicious for any meal of the day. It comes together in less than 15 minutes, making it the perfect weeknight meal: easy, filling, and delicious.
Hearty and crispy vegan chickpea patties flavored with cumin and coriander, topped with a bright tahini-based slaw.
A hearty salad of chickpeas roasted with cumin and paprika until dense and nutty, combined with kale, fresh herbs, pine nuts, and sun-dried tomatoes. This is a salad that gets even better on the second day.
With the help of a pressure cooker, you can heave tender, gently spiced chicken that tastes like it's been simmering all day in a creamy sauce flavored with ginger, garlic, and cumin. Chickpeas and spinach make this a complete meal.
Quinoa, chickpeas, and shrimp are flavored with harissa and topped with crunchy cucumbers. Finished with some lemon and cilantro, it makes a quick and easy meal that comes together in less than 30 minutes, with minimal prep work to boot.
Chole, Indian chickpea curry, is a wonderful side or main. It's usually eaten with deep fried bread or with a steaming hot plateful of white rice.
A quick, colorful tart featuring apricot compote, fresh zucchini, and a chickpea flour shell makes for a pleasantly surprising appetizer.
Chickpeas come together with sweet roasted zucchini to create a light, silky dip that's far more exciting than your average store-bought hummus—and a cinch to make.
This salad keeps fantastically in the fridge, retaining its crunch and developing its flavor over time.
[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt] About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Managing Editor of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab...