Provençal Chickpea Bajane

Bajane is a Provençal term for the midday meal. This dish incorporates two of my favorite (underrated) veggies – fennel and leeks.  Seek out fresh thyme for this one – the flavor is unmatched to the dried variety.

Chickpea Bajane

Ingredients

Quinoa:

  • 2  teaspoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 1  cup  vegetable broth
  • 1  cup  water
  • 1  cup  uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  chopped fresh thyme
  • Chickpea mixture:

  • 2  teaspoons  extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2  cups  thinly sliced leek (about 1 large)
  • 4  garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 1/2  cups  sliced fennel bulb (about 1 large)
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2  teaspoon  fennel seeds (I left these out)
  • 1/2  cup  white wine
  • 1  cup  vegetable broth
  • 4  teaspoons  chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 1  (14 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  (5-ounce) package baby spinach
  • Preparation:

    1. To prepare quinoa, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 garlic clove to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add 1 cup broth and next 4 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt); cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender.

    2. To prepare chickpea mixture, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add leek and 4 garlic cloves to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil, fennel bulb, carrot, and fennel seeds; sauté 10 minutes or until vegetables are golden. Add wine; cook 3 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir in 1 cup broth, 2 teaspoons thyme, and chickpeas; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt (to taste) pepper, and spinach.

    3. Serve chickpea mixture on top of quinoa. Sprinkle each serving with thyme.

    Source: Cooking Light

    Variations and Serving Suggestions

    • Nix the quinoa and sub in couscous or rice (or forego completely and serve with slices of baguette)
    • Replace chickpeas for cannellini beans
    • Serve as a side dish to roast chicken
    • Toss together quinoa and chick pea mixture and serve cold as a salad (picnic time, anyone?)
    • Pair with a vibrant bone-dry white like pinot grigio, pinot blanc, dry rosé or sparkling wine
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