Friday, May 22, 2015

Chard & Chickpeas With Tahini Cream

Lebanese people love chard. Summer is the season for it. My local market sells gorgeous red and rainbow Swiss chard. I wait for it all winter. 

Today's recipe pairs red chard with roasted chickpeas. The chickpeas are infused with smoked paprika and warm spices. A squeeze of lemon and a dollop of tahini cream are a lovely, fresh finish. Pair this dish with steamed rice or pita. You can also round out this recipe by serving it with olives, Spanish ham and/or manchego cheese. This energizing meal has lots of vegetarian protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Best of all, it's delicious. The sunny flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean are all here!    

Chard & Chickpeas With Tahini Cream

Serves 3-4

Some Notes & Tips

If you're vegan, please use  my  Tahini Dressing recipe instead of the tahini cream.
If you don't feel like making the tahini cream, a dollop of Labneh (Lebanese strained yogurt) or Greek yogurt is lovely too. This dish is also nice served plain with a squeeze of lemon juice.

The Lebanese in me loves sprinkling dried or fresh mint on the finished dish. It lifts all the flavors in much the same way lemon does.

Ingredients For The Chickpeas & Chard 

  • 1 14-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard, chopped. Separate the stems from the leaves. I like red or rainbow chard. 
  • 1 chili pepper, diced. I use a red fresno chili (optional).
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon 
  • Sprinkling of dried mint (optional)
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Salt to taste. I use sea salt.  

Ingredients For The Tahini Cream

  • 2 tablespoons of well stirred tahini paste
  • 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt. I use Fage Greek Yogurt.
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • Tiny drizzle of honey (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • Salt to taste. I use sea salt.    

To Serve: pita bread, crusty bread, olives, steamed rice, Spanish or thinly sliced ham, manchego cheese


Preheat oven to 375. Line a small baking tray with foil.

Make the tahini cream sauce by combining the the tahini. yogurt, olive oil, honey and water. Stir in some lemon juice and salt to taste. Mix until smooth. Set aside.

Place the chickpeas, smoked paprika and cinnamon on the lined baking tray. Add some olive oil and salt to taste. I use a generous tablespoon of olive oil. Toss everything together. Spread out in a single layer and roast in the oven for about 10-15 minutes.

While the chickpeas are roasting, saute the swiss chard stems, onion and chili pepper (if using) in a large fry pan on medium heat with some olive oil and a pinch of salt. Once the stems and onions are soft, stir in the leaves and a pinch more salt. Cook until the leaves are wilted and soft.

Place the sauteed swiss chard in bowls. Top with the roasted chickpeas and a sprinkle of dried mint. Finish with a dollop of tahini cream. Serve with lemon wedges and pita bread or any of the suggestions.

Bon Appetit!

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