Saturday, August 9, 2008

Chickpeas Romesco

Serves 4 to 6. Takes 50 minutes.

1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes (fire roasted are especially good here)
2 roasted red bell pepper, homemade or store-bought
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 shallots, minced fine
1 serrano chile, minced fine
1/4 cup white wine or veggie broth
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crumbled
2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp salt and pepper

Using a food processor, grind the almonds into a very fine, almost powdery crumbs. Empty into a small bowl and set aside. Working in two or more batches, puree the tomatoes and roasted peppers together until smooth. Pour the tomato mixture into a large bowl and set aside.

Preheat a medium sized heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Saute the garlic, shallots and chile in oil until the shallots are turning golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and stir to dissolve any browned bits of garlic from the bottom of the pot, simmer for 1 minutes. Add the tomato puree, vinegar, sugar, thyme, and rosemary. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a near boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the ground almonds and stir the mixtures until they are completely combined. Fold in the chickpeas and simmer, uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, until the sauce is slightly reduced and the chickpeas are very tender. Remove from the heat, seasons with salt and pepper and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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