I must confess that it has never occured to me to stir-fry chickpeas (or any bean, for that matter). I had cooked chickpeas in the fridge, leftover from making hummus the other day and I was looking for something quick & easy, yet delicious, for dinner. I also had some romaine lettuce (clam-shell packed and shipped from California, which Mom left here at Christmastime) that needed using, but somehow I couldn’t work up any enthusiasm for month-old-California-lettuce-mid-winter salad. (Shocker, that.)
Enter chickpea stir-fry. With some fresh carrots, ginger(!) and cilantro from the weekend’s farmer’s market, spicy peppers from the freezer, and a kiss of citrus to pull it all together, this dinner was whipped up in no time and was suprisingly tasty. Tai & I both went back for seconds (something I almost never do) and I polished off the rest of it for lunch yesterday. The California lettuce added a bit of crunch and color but this would be equally good served over wilted kale or chard, alongside crisp sliced apple, or simply on its own.
Inspired by Lemony Chickpea Stir-Fry by Heidi at 101 Cookbooks
- 4 tbsp olive oil or clarified butter
- 2 medium shallots, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 2 medium carrots, diced to 1/4-inch
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 1/2 cup diced hot banana peppers (frozen), thawed
- 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley, for the cilantro-adverse)
- salt and cayenne pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
- Heat oil or butter over medium-high heat in a wok or large frying pan until shimmering, but not smoking. Add shallots, ginger, garlic and carrots and cook, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Stir fry until ginger and garlic are fragrant and shallots have softened, about 3- 5 minutes.
- Add chickpeas (along with more oil or butter if necessary). Increase heat and toss quickly to fry (they are supposed to get “crispy, golden brown” but mine never got crispy – I may have overloaded the pan) for 3 to 4 minutes, allowing the chickpeas to absorb the flavor of the vegetables.
- Add banana peppers and half the cilantro. Add salt and cayenne pepper. Fry for another minute, then remove from heat. Toss with lemon or lime juice and add the rest of the cilantro (reserve a little for garnish). Serve over a bed of greens, or on its own, garnished with additional chopped cilantro.
- This recipe is quite adaptable; Heidi made a summer version with lemon, zucchini and summer squash. I could see a Spring version with scallions, radishes and fresh chives. Experiment!
For up to 5 days refrigerated.
Winter or year round.