Chickpeas Baked with Vegetables, Herbs and Honey
Baked beans get a whole new identity in this luscious, sating chick pea dish sweetened with Greek honey and perfumed with herbs. To find some of the artisinal Greek products you'll need to make this, visit my online shop here, where you'll discover a host of lovingly curated Greek ingredients.
- 1 pound dried chickpeas soaked overnight
- 3 tablespoons thick Greek honey preferably from Ikaria
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 bay leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large red onions halved and sliced
- 8 garlic cloves cut into slivers
- 1 red bell pepper cut into 1/4-inch / 6-mm rings
- 1 green bell pepper cut into 1/4-inch / 6 mm rings
- 1 yellow bell pepper cut into 1/4-inch / 6 mm rings
- 1 small carrot halved lengthwise and cut into 1/8-inch / 3 mm thin strips
- 2 large firm-ripe tomatoes cut crosswise into 6 slices
- 2/3 cup extra virgin Greek olive oil
Drain the chickpeas and place back in a large pot with enough fresh cold water to cover by 2 inches. 5 cm. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until halfway to tender, about 1 hour.
Reserving the cooking liquid, drain the chickpeas.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°F / 160°C.
Place the drained chickpeas in an ovenproof clay or ceramic baking dish with a lid. Pour in enough of the reserved cooking liquid to come about two-thirds of the way up the beans. Mix in the honey and balsamic. Add the herbs to the pan. Season with salt and black pepper.
Layering them in the following order, arrange the onions, garlic, bell peppers, and tomatoes over the chickpeas. Drizzle 1/3 cup of the olive oil over the contents of the baking dish. Cover the pan with its lid (or with parchment paper then foil) and bake the chickpeas for about two and a half hour, or until tender.
Remove the cover and bake until very tender and the liquid is almost all gone and the vegetables on top are almost charred, another 30 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.