I’m in the Saskatoon airport. (My favourite airport in the world – small, never any lineups, a Tim Horton’s right beside the security gate, which likewise never has lineups. Cushy seats with plugins beside or under each seat, and fast, free wireless. Shouldn’t this be LA?)
I’ve just finished a 3 day tour of pulse farms and production facilities in rural Saskatchewan with Sue and a group of writers and researchers. Lunch today was at Simon’s Fine Foods, where we had a sort of hands-on cooking lesson with various pulses.
Wait, you don’t know what a pulse is? Don’t sweat it – most of us outside the UK aren’t familiar with the term. I’m hoping Jamie will start cooking with them a little more often, so the term becomes as familiar as he made rocket. Outside of the gym, the term pulse refers to legumes – lentils, peas, chickpeas and beans. (You can learn more about pulses on the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers website.)
We’re continuing our research, learning more about how and where legumes are grown and how they’re processed by tramping about in fields, eating fresh lentils straight from their pods, talking to farmers and nutrition researchers and processors and cooks. It’s all very fascinating, and we now know more about how lentils are grown than we probably ever thought we would.
The release date of Spilling the Beans, by the way, is September 21. My parents’ anniversary. (A good omen I think, considering they’ve enjoyed a long and healthy marriage, and have taken to snuggling and smooching even more lately. Blech.)
(OK, I wrote all that last night, got home at around midnight and discovered that I yet again left a small but essential cord -the one that connects camera and computer- in my hotel room. So sorry for the time lapse while I found another cord. I’m not actually in the Saskatoon airport anymore.)
Moroccan Chickpeas with Roasted Peppers, Parsley & Mint
canola oil, for cooking
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small can tomato paste
2 Tbsp raisins
1 Tbsp chopped dried apricots (we used more!)
4 cups cooked chickpeas (keep the cooking liquid)
1 roasted red pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (we used more!)
juice of a lemon
In a large skillet, saute the onion in a skiff of canola oil over medium-high heat until soft. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, nutmeg and cayenne and cook for a minute.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, raisins and apricots and a splash of cooking liquid (or tomato juice) and bring to a simmer – it should be saucy. Add the chickpeas to the pan and stir to coat. Cook for a bit to cook off any excess liquid if need be. Add the red pepper, mint and parsley and squeeze over the lemon. Toss to combine and serve warm or refrigerate until chilled – allowing the mixture to marinate for a few hours (or a day) will help the flavours improve. Makes lots.
August 11 2011 07:38 pm | beans