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This week's Resolution Recipe: Another Preparation. (Preserved Chickpeas)

Take boiled crushed chickpeas, and throw away their cooking water, and add fried onions to the aforementioned things, and preserve them well with oil or lard, as the time or day requires. (Anonimo Toscano, late 14th - early 15th c.)

1 16 oz can garbanzo beans
1/2 onion, 150 g
olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Drain chickpeas, reserving liquid. Coarsely mash them, adding back liquid as needed to make a smooth(ish) texture, not super-fine. Stir in salt and pepper.

Mince the onion. Heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the onion, stirring, until starting to caramelize. Remove from heat and stir into the chickpea mush.

Pack the mixture into sterilized jars. Cover with 1/4" olive oil and seal up. Keep in a cool, dark place until using.

I tried this with soaked dried chickpeas that I braised until soft; they were basically the same flavor and texture as the canned, and the can is a lot less work.

Source: Anonimo Toscano, Libro della Cocina. Ariane Helou trans, 2013.

What worked: Background: it's kind of stupid but we generally won't eat lunch at events unless it's really easy. Opening cheese? Okay. Slicing cured sausage? Probably because I like it, but it's better if I've pre-sliced it. Taking out a pie and slicing it? Too much work and it sits in the cooler!

I made these a couple weeks before the event; it made 1 1/2 pints. Opening the jar, stirring in the oil, and scooping out onto (commercial) flatbread was acceptably easy. It was tasty, nutritious, documented, and filled the niche that scooping flatbread into a jar of hummus is - but with the bonus of being a period recipe (which hummus is sadly not).

We quite liked it.

What didn't: At the event I found it rather bland, but I suspect that it being 95 degrees meant I couldn't taste the salt. I'd probably add some chopped rosemary and marjoram (common herbs in this cookery manuscript) and maybe some garlic with the onion (not, but prescribed by my physician to keep my humours in balance. That's my story anyway).

Will I make it again? This will be a regular dish to bring for our event lunches. I might use carrots instead of flatbread to change things up.

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