Friday, November 19, 2010

Chickpeas, Fennel, Bell Pepper, and Grapes

...and brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things.
There is so much good in this one easy dish. Bell peppers are my favorite vegetable--particularly the red ones. Grapes, when roasted, take on an entirely ethereal sweetness and juciness.  They actually burst in your mouth, like some sort of natural Gushers fruit snack. And fennel, with it's crispness and slight anise/black licorice flavor is a new muse of mine. Filling, hearty chickpeas combine with these to ground the whole thing.

The health benefits of each of these ingredients are also astounding. Scientists and nutritionists agree grapes and bell peppers are two of the best things you can eat--I'll leave it at that.

This goes great with roast pork or chicken, or just eaten straight off the pan. Did I mention this comes together in about 5 minutes? 

Recipe, from Whole Living by Martha Stewart

Serves 6
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 head fennel
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 pound seedless large red grapes
  • 1 14-oz. can chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I use less than 1 Tb)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (I use dried)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Thinly slice garlic. Halve and thinly slice fennel, leaving the core intact. Stem and seed bell peppers, and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Divide vegetables, grapes, and chickpeas, rinsed and drained, between two rimmed baking sheets.
  2. Drizzle each sheet with oil and toss with oregano, salt, and pepper, to taste.
  3. Place in oven and roast, rotating sheets once, until vegetables are golden brown and grapes are beginning to burst, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove vegetables and any pan juices; transfer to a serving platter. Serve warm.

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