Is your finger on the pulse?
Listening to BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme this week I discovered that 2016 is the year of the pulse. We’re on month 7 of 2016 and I have only just realised this. I’m a bit ashamed. I’ve not had my finger on the pulse have I? (pun very much intended).
Pulses are becoming more celebrated these days, but we’ve eaten them as part of our individual cultures for yonks; It was highlighted in the programme that most cuisines have a national pulse based dish. It’s perhaps a little embarrassing that the UK’s is beans on toast (such culinary prowess), but I do admit that I rather like it when an opportune moment appears.
There is so much more repertoire to be explored with pulses, but I have to confess my repertoire is currently rather narrow; chickpeas, butter and cannellini beans, split red lentils are the ones I usually go for (though I did enjoy my recent foray into UK grown fava beans).
I do have an excellent bean story though, around 9 years ago I took part in a community musical (not a frequent occurrence for me) and my character sang a song all about beans. So many beans got thrown on the floor in a rage by a customer of my bean shop that I sang a song about making bean stew with the spilt beans. I digress but typing this is making me giggle in nostalgia (and I’m sure my dear friends if you are reading it will you too). One of my finer moments in life I will never ever live down.
Anyway… I’m belatedly celebrating the year of the pulse with a recipe using my favourite pulse – the chickpea. The star ingredient in hummus they are fabulous warm in stews or cold in salads alike. They even taste great roasted. Not sure how they came top of my list, but I adore their nutty carby flavour. They are definitley my go to when creating a vegetarian meal.
I decided on this recipe because I wanted to use up a glut of herbs nearing the the end of their life in my kitchen. I made chermoula chicken years ago and love the combination of herbs with cumin my favourite warming and flavourful spice. Chermoula is a traditional Moroccan / North African blend. I’ve upgraded the blend this time to include some rose petals, they add a subtle flavour and a pop of pink. The dish is pretty simple once you’ve blended up your marinade. I pre-roasted the carrots a little before adding the chickpeas as they take longer to cook, then tossed in the chermoula chickpeas while I griddled my thin slices of seasonal courgette. I’ve recently replaced my awol griddle pan with a cast-iron one and am using it for everything! However if you don’t have one you can simply pan fry or roast the courgette in chunks. Finally a dollop of cooling yoghurt infused with lemon zest brings the dish together, you could add feta or replace with coconut yoghurt for a dairy free vegan alternative.
Enjoy cold as a summer salad or fresh out of the oven for a warming summer supper.
Enjoy reading my recipes? Sign up to my newsletter for new recipes, seasonal veg ideas and much much more!
- A handful (30g) fresh coriander leaves
- A handful (30g) fresh parsley leaves
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 Tbsp water
- Juice 1 lemon, reserve zest for yoghurt
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp rose petals
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- pinch red pepper or chilli flakes
- 4 carrots, trimmed and split in half lengthways
- 1 380g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 Tbsp rose chermoula, plus extra for drizzling
- 4 courgettes, sliced into ribbons
- Olive oil, salt
- Optional natural yoghurt stirred with lemon zest to serve, and extra rose petals.
- Pre-heat oven to 180°C
- First make up your rose chermoula sauce. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a thick paste forms. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Place the carrots on a lined baking tray and sprinkle with a touch of olive oil and pinch salt, roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile toss your chickpeas in 2 Tbs chermoula sauce, then once the 15 minutes is up, add to the carrot tray in the oven and cook for a further 25-30 minutes until the chickpeas are golden and the carrots fork tender and charred.
- While everything is cooking in the oven cook your courgette ribbons in some olive oil on a griddle pan till they brown with griddle lines, then set aside until you're ready to plate up.
- Lay the courgettes at the bottom of your serving dish, then add the carrots, the chickpeas and a dollop of lemony yoghurt, a further drizzle of the raw chermoula and some rose petals.
Inspired by the idea of crispy roasted chickpeas? Try these other recipes too; Cumin Roasted Beetroot and Chickpeas, Spicy Roasted Chickpeas, Barley Bowl with Spiced Aubergine, Chickpeas and Tomatoes. 3