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Chickpeas with Lemon, Oregano and Olives

Like most beans, chickpeas can take 2 hours to cook. Here, they quickly emerge with a meaty texture and flavor that’s more satisfying than canned. Serve with grilled lamb, chicken or fish, or alone as a vegetarian entrée. The directions below are designed for a stovetop pressure cooker; if you are using an electric pressure cooker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 5 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 Tbs. coarsely grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, plus more, to taste
  • 1/2 cup pitted good-quality green olives, roughly chopped

Directions:

Rinse the chickpeas in a sieve under cold water. Pick over and remove any misshapen chickpeas or stones.

In a stovetop pressure cooker pot, combine the chickpeas, the 6 cups water, 2 of the garlic cloves, the bay leaf and the 1/2 tsp. salt. Drizzle 1 Tbs. of the olive oil over the liquid.

Lock the lid into place and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes. Let the steam release naturally. When the pressure valve drops, remove the lid, tilting it away from your face to allow residual steam to escape. Test a chickpea for doneness; it should be cooked through but not soft. If it is too firm, lock the lid into place again and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes more, then quick-release the steam.

Drain the chickpeas in a colander, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the bay leaf. Clean and dry the pot. At this point, the chickpeas and liquid can be cooled, covered and refrigerated separately for up to 1 day. To continue, let them come to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe.

On a cutting board, mince together the parsley, oregano, the remaining 2 garlic cloves and the lemon zest. In the pressure cooker pot (or in a sauté pan on the stovetop, if the chickpeas were made ahead) over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 4 Tbs. olive oil. Add the herb-garlic mixture and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cooked chickpeas, the 2 Tbs. lemon juice, 1 cup of the reserved cooking liquid and the olives. Stir for a few minutes until the flavors are blended, adding more cooking liquid if the mixture seems dry. Taste and adjust the seasonings with more salt and lemon juice and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from The Pressure Cooker Cookbook, by Tori Ritchie (Weldon Owen, 2012).