Roasted chickpeas, potatoes and tomatoes

Roasted chickpeas, potatoes and tomatoes with sage and rosemary

Roasted chickpeas, potatoes and tomatoes with sage and rosemary

Thoreau famously warned us to “beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.” As I was going about my chores this morning, thinking my confused thoughts, I came up with my own version. “Beware of any enterprise that requires you to stifle your sense of compassion.” Beware of any occupation that requires you to think of other lives as less valuable than your own life. Beware of any undertaking that requires you to treat people in a way you wouldn’t treat the people you most love. Beware of any job that forces you to think of people as enemies. If you’re being trained that the suffering of strangers is less tragic than the suffering of your friends, quit your training. Beware of anybody that asks you to respond to any situation with only anger and fear. Beware of anybody that tells you love, pity, and empathy are signs of weakness. Beware of any goal that requires cruelty or thoughtlessness to achieve. Beware of anyone that asks you to act without understanding.

    It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners. – Albert Camus

So! Tiny new potatoes, chickpeas and tomatoes, all tossed together with shallots, garlic and olive oil. Seasoned with rosemary and sage, and roasted till crispy and caramelized. Delicious! This smells so good while you’re cooking it. I like potatoes and tomatoes together, for some reason it seems very summery and harvesty to me. We’re not there yet, obviously, so this is like a wish or a preview. This would be nice in summer with chopped ripe tomatoes, but for the time being I used little sweet grape tomatoes. They became almost like sundried tomatoes. Rich and flavorful. The first time we ate this, it was crispy and firm. The second time, I added some white wine at the end, used it to scrape up all the nice caramelly bits, covered it, and cooked it till everything was tender. It was very nice both ways! We ate it on a bed of baby spinach and arugula. Lovely.

Here’s Compassion, by Nina Simone.

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Chick(pea) patties and guacamole

Chick patties

This time I’m going to listen to my own advice, and just post the damn recipe. Except that it’s two recipes. Sigh, nothing’s simple. We ate them together, and they go very nicely together, but they’re good on their own, too!

The first is “chick patties.” Part of an ongoing series, here at The Ordinary, in which I attempt to make homemade meat substitutes. Fake meat from the store – fakin bacon, veggie burgers, soy sausage – although frequently very tasty, is also very expensive and full of questionable ingredients. (Questionable to me, anyway, because I don’t know what they are, and my old eyes are getting so bad I can’t read the small print!) So, here in the test kitchens of The Ordinary, we have a whole division devoted to coming up with simple, economical versions you can make at home. Our motto is, “It’s all in the seasonings!” So we’ve made flakin bacon, veggie burgers, “meatballs,” and sausages. Well, we thought it was time to tackle every child’s favorite – the chicken nugget. I love the texture and flavor of roasted chickpeas, so we started there. I’ve been obsessing lately over the combination of lemon, sage and rosemary, so we continued in that direction. And I have fond memories of making lemon pepper chicken when I was very very young, so we added a big dose of black pepper. (Might be the first meal I remember being proud to share with people!) We fried them lightly in olive oil, and then ate them with oven roasted french fries and guacamole. The youngsters dipped them in barbeque sauce.

Guacamole

I’m very proud of my guacamole! It’s simple, yet flavorful. I add cilantro, lime, cumin, cayenne, tomatoes and a bit of honey. A lovely balance of sweet, hot, tart and creamy. Just in time for cinco de mayo!!

Here’s Organized Konfusion with Who Stole My Last Piece of Chicken. I love this song so much. And the video, too. Food and memory. Beautiful!!

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Roasted chickpea & tarragon pie

This pie is full of flavors and textures!! It’s got roasted chickpeas, mushrooms and shallots! (All together they turn out pleasantly crispy/substantial/soft.) It’s got spinach sauteed with hot red pepper, garlic and lemon! It has smoked gouda! It has a flaky lemon-pepper crust! And it has tarragon!

And it all works beautifully together. Although it looks and tastes complicated, it’s really fairly easy. Being so handsome and deliciously impressive, this would make a nice holiday meal for the vegetarians in your life. I made the edge of the crust quite tall so that you could pile your holiday mashed potatoes right on top.

Since Christmas is A-Coming, we’ll let Leadbelly tell you all about it.
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