Roasted Garbanzo Beans and Garlic with Swiss Chard was originally published January 2008 in Bon Apetit but I found the recipe on epicurious.com
The entire making of the recipe which should be pretty simple was a bit disastrous. It started a couple of nights ago when I decided to start from dried garbanzo beans instead of using canned. Cooking dried garbanzos is very simple but requires the cook to NOT forget that they are actually cooking garbanzo beans. I forgot, and they burnt, not too bad, luckily. I figured since they were for roasting anyway, it didn’t really matter and I was right, they didn’t taste burnt in the end.
I didn’t actually use Swiss chard, I used beet greens and here’s my reason for that: beets and Swiss chard are the same species of plant so beet greens are basically chard without the big rib. A lot of Swiss chard recipes, like this one, tell you to remove the rib anyway, so you might as well use beet greens, there’s less prep time involved. Oh yeah, I also have a row of beets that refuses to make beets so the beet greens were FREE. I have far more greens than I needed for this recipe so I might have to find another Swiss chard/beet green recipe for next week.
The beans are roasted with lots of olive, garlic, shallots and fennel seed. I wasn’t sure about including the fennel seed since I don’t like licorice but I did it anyway since it wasn’t a lot of fennel, MISTAKE! My kitchen smelled like licorice even thought the fennel flavor wasn’t particularly strong in the finished dish. The greens are cooked on the stove top. The recipe said to tear the leaves up and I didn’t so they clumped together. I used some chicken stock that I had made and frozen instead of broth but two cups seemed like too much liquid.
Meanwhile, my daughter, trying to be helpful by putting away the groceries, spilled a whole bag of macaroni and a whole bag of Cheerios. Cheerios and macaroni from the back door clear to the living room, a total mess. A macaroni noodle makes a very distinct sound when you step on it. She was very a good little girl, and swept everything up as well as she could while the dogs helped her. Hopefully, the dogs’ stomachs don’t explode once all that macaroni expands. I left the basement door open in case one of them had a midnight emergency.
I had the beet greens and garbanzos with foil roasted salmon that I had topped with oil, lemon, and pepper flakes. The salmon was great but I’m not sure what I think about the greens and garbanzos. They weren’t bad. I liked the greens better than cooked spinach, they lack that weird spinach aftertaste that coats your mouth. Using roast garbanzo beans would be a great way to make hummus, you could just throw it into a blender after it cools a bit. I have a lot left over, I don’t know if I’ll be able to eat it all. Would I make it again? Maybe, with some adjustments: no fennel seed, less liquid, less oil with the beans.
UPDATE: This tastes way better a day later. I bought some crusty bread to dip in the juices and it was awesome. It might be good over rice or some other grain too and it totally seems like the sort of thing you should drink a beer with. Next time I make it I will still leave out the fennel seed. Maybe I will try rosemary instead.