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Saucy Harissa Chickpeas

By Claire Jones

While I understand that the manufacturers of my refrigerator's top shelf jar menagerie would prefer that I consume their products within a certain generous time frame for the sake of liability, surely the expiration dates of fridge condiments are merely gentle suggestions?  Right? Right! So, I believe harissa to be a valuable staple in my pantry. Here, it does all the heavy lifting to make some really tasty, easy chickpeas.

Makes 3 to 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes

2 T olive oil
1 large yellow or white onion, chopped
A few cloves of garlic, minced
1 heaping T harissa (more/less to taste)
A wedge of lemon
One 14 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 c dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1 cinnamon stick or a big pinch ground cinnamon
One 14 oz can chopped tomato
Cooked grain of your choice - couscous, bulgur, brown rice, etc. A couple slices of nice bread on the side work well, too

Heat oil in a large frying pan on medium high heat. Cook onion and garlic until soft.

Add harissa and stir through until onion and garlic is well coated. After a minute or two, squeeze a wedge of lemon over the pan to deglaze it a bit, scraping all the tasty bits off the bottom of the pan.

Add chickpeas, apricots, cinnamon, tomato, and about a half a can of water. Lower the heat slightly, and simmer for at least 10 minutes, or longer if you want a richer, thicker sauce.

Remove the cinnamon stick if using.

Serve over your grains or bread.

Good condiments include: more harissa!, lemon wedge, yogurt, toasted almond, fresh herbs.

Claire Jones is clearing out the fridge and living without a dishwasher in Devon, UK.