The depth of flavours in braised food never ceases to amaze me. Braised meat is great, but as this recipe shows, legumes and vegetables work just as well. Healthy, flavourful, and shockingly easy, the only catch to this recipe is the time involved.
I adapted Sweet Sugarbean’s recipe considerably to the contents of my pantry and my personal preferences. Using canned chickpeas instead of dry beans also had the benefit of shortening the cook-time considerably. If you’re looking for additions or substitutions, consider adding root vegetables like carrots or turnips, or subbing black or red beans for the chickpeas.
Braised Chickpeas with Leeks
Makes 4 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 leeks, washed and coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, washed and diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups vegetable broth
1 can of chickpeas
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat the oil and butter in a (preferably oven-safe) pot or casserole dish over medium heat on the stovetop. Add the leeks, celery, and garlic, and let cook until softened, roughly 10 minutes. Stir in the thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and let cook for an additional 2 minutes.
If using an oven-safe pot, add the broth and chickpeas to the pot, cover the pot, and transfer to the oven. Otherwise, transfer the leek mixture to an oven-safe casserole dish before adding the broth and chickpeas and covering. Depending on the size of your casserole dish, you may be able to add all of the broth–this is okay. Remove the lid after 30 minutes, and let the mixture cook until the liquid has mostly cooked off, roughly 20 minutes.
Turn the oven temperature up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, sprinkle the cheese on top, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the cheese has begun to brown. Remove from the oven, and enjoy!