Recipe: Chickpeas Au Gratin

Its been a cold, rainy and snowy week, so it seemed like the perfect time to try out a new recipe.  This is an adaptation of a recipe I found in the Vegetarian Times for Cannellini au Gratin.  I changed it based on what ingredients I had available – no sense going out in the cold if you have plenty of usable food at home!  So slightly modified, and mostly vegan, I bring you Chickpeas Au Gratin.  There are several steps to this recipe, so I have organized it by step and have organized the ingredients accordingly.  Enjoy!

Step 1: Preparing the Beans

Recipe photograph: Chickpeas Au Gratin
Chickpeas, celery, onion and garlic ready to go!

Ingredients for Step 1:

3 cups of cooked chickpeas

1/2 of a medium-sized onion, unpeeled, unchopped and pierced with 4 whole cloves

6 garlic cloves, halved

1 1/4 t of dried Thyme

3 t of dried Parsley

Fronds and ends of 8 white celery stalks

Directions for Step 1:

Combine all of the above ingredients into a large Ducth-oven or soup pot.  Add enough water to cover the beans by about 1 1/2 inches.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, uncover and reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer for 35 minutes.  Remove from heat and drain beans.  Discard onion and celery fronds.

Step 2: Preparing the Au Gratin

Food photograph: Chickpeas Au Gratin
Stir the veggies frequently as they steam

Ingredients for Step 2

2 T olive oil

1 cup carrots, diced

1 cup peas

2 cups celery, diced

2 cups onion, diced

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 t white vinegar

1 t dried Thyme

1 1/2 cups of broth or water

Directions for Step 2

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In the empty pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add carrots, peas and celery and season with some salt.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the veggies start to brown.  Add the diced onion and a pinch more salt.  Cover again and cook for 6-8 minutes or until onion is soft and browning.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.  Remove from heat, add the vinegar, and stir everything around to unstick it from the bottom of the pan.  Add the strained beans, the thyme, and the broth (not quite enough to completely cover the beans.)  Stir well to combine.

Step 3: Putting it all together

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Ingredients assembled

Ingredients for Step 3

1 1/2 c breadcrumbs

1/2 c Parmesan Cheese

2 T olive oil

Directions for Step 3

Combine these 3 ingredients into a small bowl and stir, until the breadcrumbs are sufficiently moist from the oil.  Spread breadcrumb mixture over the bean mixture.  Bake, uncovered, 30-35 minutes, until the top is browned and juices have bubbled down below the surface.  Let cool for 20 minutes, but serve it warm!  Enjoy!

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Serve with Parmesan Cheese for added flavoring
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