Monday, November 08, 2010

The Greening of Dinner

Here's a list of things I didn't expect when I started this blog:
  • That anyone, aside from a few friends, would ever read it.
  • That it would start me on the path to a new career as a writer.
  • That I would still be doing it more than four years and some 1800-plus posts later.
  • That I would get on e-mail lists for nice things like media dinners but also on those promoting the latest books from new age/horror/makeover authors (wait, is that a new genre?).
  • That boxes would appear on my front porch containing books, locally roasted coffee, snack chips and garbanzo beans.
Yes, garbanzo beans. Flash-frozen green garbanzo beans. Which I had never cooked with before. And now I had a case of them.

I'd seen green garbanzos once before in their husks (left) at the Forest Grove Farmers' Market. Fortunately someone had already done the work of de-husking these, making them much more attractive when it came to actually doing something with them. Asking around, I heard they made great hummus and could be used in stir fries, soups and stews.

So when I was stuck (again) for something to make for dinner last night and, ever the optimist, opened the door to the freezer to see if some fairy might have magically left a whole frozen lasagne buried under the bags of parmesan rinds, nuts and bread ends, I saw one of those big green bags staring at me. Since I'd been hankering for some curry, I grabbed it and some rice and tomatoes from the pantry and, within a half hour, had dinner on the table. Talk about side benefits!

Green Garbanzo and Tomato Curry

2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 yellow onion quartered and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, quartered and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. coriander
2 c. crushed tomatoes
2 c. green garbanzo beans
Splash fish sauce (optional)
Salt to taste

Heat oil in deep skillet. When it shimmers, add onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat till the onion is transparent. Add the red bell peppers and sauté till tender. Add spices and stir for 30 seconds, then add tomatoes and garbanzo beans. Salt to taste and, if desired, add a splash of fish sauce. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve with rice and chutneys (we particularly like Patak brand, especially their Lime Relish).

No comments: