One of my absolute favourite restaurants in Kingston is a café-bakery called Pan Chancho. Everything they serve is impossibly fresh and absolutely bursting with flavour. Whenever my parents come for a visit, we try to make a stop there, and last time they were down, they bought the Pan Chancho cookbook. This recipe is adapted from their own Moroccan chickpea salad.
To be honest, I’m not sure my family has used the book except to make this recipe. It’s just so fresh and satisfying. I love the way the flavours and textures work with one another. It is truly an amazing dish, and is suitable as a side dish at a dinner party (this was one of my assigned dishes at my father’s infamous tapas… bonanza) or with a soup or sandwich.
The main difference between the cookbook’s directions and mine have to do with the quantity of fresh herbs used: I much prefer this dish when there is more mint and parsley than what is called for in the recipe. However, this balance is yours to find — test the recipe out with different proportions of herbs until you find your sweet spot.
Moroccan Chickpeas with Mint
2 medium onions
3-4 cloves garlic
cans chickpeas, drained
2 cans tomato paste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp crushed dried chillis or red pepper flakes
3-4 tbsp chopped fresh mint
3-4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
1. In a skillet, heat a generous amount of olive oil on medium heat.
2. Peel and chop the onions. Peel and mince the garlic. Add to the hot oil and cook for 5-10 minutes, until the onions are fully cooked through and somewhat translucent.
3. Add the tomato paste and dry spices and mix to combine. Cook the tomato mixture for about 5 more minutes, then toss in a bowl with the chickpeas (make sure to rinse the chickpeas after draining them to get rid of any brine). Add the chopped fresh herbs, taste, and season with salt and pepper until the flavour suits you.
4. Serve at room temperature with anything you want!