While I typically bring food when I eat out, when I went home for Christmas, my Mom didn’t want me to cook. She wanted this to be a relaxing visit and thought that if I was cooking in the kitchen, I wouldn’t be on vacation. Trust me, I relish cooking, but it was wonderful to know that my Mom had already prepared some meals for me to enjoy.
Prior to arriving, at her request, I suggested a few possible meals. Some dishes that I had already made myself, but mostly dishes that I had bookmarked for a special occasion. My mom was so awesome that she went out of her way to make I didn’t feel left out: when everyone had her delicious quiche for brunch, she made my Mediterranean Crustless Chickpea Flour Quiche for me. For Christmas Eve, she made beef bourguignon for the gang and beans bourguignon for me.
For Christmas dinner, I had Chickpea Piccata on the menu. My recent meal at Candle 79 in New York City was a definite highlight with their delicious Seitan Piccata and I was itching to try something similar at home. But with much less work!
Thankfully, this Chickpea Piccata did not disappoint. It had the perfect blend of flavours, with a not-too-tart lemon-caper-shallot sauce overtop braised chickpeas. I served it over spinach with a side of mashed parsnips. To be honest, for such a healthy meal, there is no need to reserve this solely for a special occasion. This definitely gets filed in the “You Can Make this For Me Anytime” category.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 scant cup thinly sliced shallots
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons whole wheat breadcrumbs (or crushed Mary’s crackers)
2 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup dry white wine
A few grinds fresh black pepper, to taste
1/8 tsp dried thyme
2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed if canned
1/4 cup capers with a little brine
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 cups baby spinach, or your favourite green
1. Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Saute the shallots and garlic for about 5 minutes, until golden. Add the breadcrumbs and stir constantly for about 2 minutes, until they become toasted (they will darken in colour).
2. Add the vegetable broth and wine, salt, black pepper and thyme. Turn up heat and bring to a rolling boil and let the sauce reduce by 1/2, approximately 7 minutes.
3. Add the chickpeas and capers and cook for 3 minutes, until heated through. Add the lemon and turn off the heat.
4. Serve overtop your favourite green. A mashed side is also nice.
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