Chickpeas, also commonly known as garbanzo beans, are a versatile culinary option. While they are quite bland alone, they can tastily accent a variety of dishes while adding necessary nutrients. Lots of people eat prepared falafel or hummus on a regular basis, yet never think how some simple home cooking can bring out the wonders of chickpeas. A can of chickpeas can simply be opened, drained, rinsed, and then added to a plethora of hot and cold meals!
A perfect and filling, chickpeas taste great with just about any type of lettuce. While these beans may not go well with fresh or dried fruits, there are many different vegetables that compliment chickpeas, including carrots, cucumbers and red onions. Once the salad is chopped and completed, some appropriate dressings are balsamic vinaigrette or red-wine vinegar with extra-virgin olive oil.
Bean salad is a heartier, more protein-filled alternative to regular salad. Nevertheless, it is just as easy to prepare. You can make a simple one by mixing a can of chickpeas, can of kidney beans and can of white beans. They can be accented with chopped celery stalks and red onion, seasoned with parsley or chives, spiced with salt and pepper and dressed with red wine or apple cider vinegar. Of course, there are hundreds of variations.
Cold dishes aside, chickpeas also taste excellent cooked. They can be sautéed in oil in a large skillet on a high temperature with a combination of chopped yellow onion, garlic and green or orange pepper. When the chopped vegetables have been sautéed thoroughly, add the can of chickpeas. Once everything has been cooked together for about two minutes, reduce to a low temperature, cover the skillet, and let everything slowly absorb into each other for 8-10 minutes. Couscous goes very well with a dish like this!
Long-grain rice dishes are easily complimented with a can of chickpeas. Pilaf (Middle-Eastern and Central-Asian rice dishes cooked with meat or vegetable broth) are greatly enhanced by just adding chickpeas, onions and garlic.