Dana Treat – Treat Yourself

Might Be in the Top 10

Posted July 13, 2011

Lemony Chickpea and Oven-Dried Tomato Stew
Adpated from Food & Wine
Serves 2-3

I think this was originally meant as a side.  If you are making it as a main, I would definitely double it, even for 2.  Leftovers would be amazing but I wouldn’t know since we didn’t have any.  Because I didn’t have enough tomatoes, I added some sun-dried ones as well to bulk my stew up.  Don’t be tempted to skip making the oven-dried ones though.  Trust me.  Finally, I sprinkled a bit of chopped mint over top for color – normally I use parsley but I was out.  We both liked the flavor of the mint so that is a keeper step.

Olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 19-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ tsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
Kosher salt
3 cups vegetable broth
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup Oven-Dried Tomatoes, coarsely chopped, plus 4 garlic cloves from the jar
2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint

Place a large saucepan over medium heat.  Drizzle in just enough olive oil to coat the bottom, then add the shallot along with a large pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the chickpeas, oregano, bay leaf, and crushed red pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the herbs are fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Add the broth and lemon juice and bring to a boil.  Simmer the stew over moderately low heat until the broth is reduced by half, about 20 minutes.  Stir in the Oven-Dried Tomatoes and the garlic and simmer for 5 minutes.  Discard the bay leaf.  Season the stew with salt and serve over with rice or with crusty bread.  Garnish with chopped mint.

Oven-Dried Tomatoes
Makes 2½ pints

8 pound firm but ripe plum tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise
½ cup olive oil, plus more for packing
2 heads garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
12 large thyme sprigs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 250º and position 2 racks just above and just below the middle of the oven.  Working over a medium bowl, pry the seeds and pulp out of the tomatoes and discard.  Pour ¼ cup of the olive oil onto each of 2 very sturdy, rimmed, light-colored baking sheets.  Arrange the tomatoes, cut side down on the baking sheets and scatter the garlic and thyme all around.  Make a tiny slit on each tomato.

Bake the tomatoes for about 45 minutes, until the skins begin to wrinkle.  Shift the pans from top to bottom halfway through.  Carefully pinch off the skins.  Flip each tomato and bake until the surface looks dry, about 1 hour.  Flip the tomatoes again and continue baking until the surfaces look dry but the tomatoes are still slightly plump, about 2 hours longer.  Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and let cool completely.

Discard the thyme sprigs and peel the garlic cloves.  Layer the tomatoes with the garlic in five ½-pint jars.  Add enough olive oil to cover the tomatoes by at least 1 inch.  Slide the blade of a knife along the side of each jar to release any air bubbles.  Seal the jar and refrigerate for up to 2 months or freeze for up to 6 months.

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