Chickpeas with Pepper Salad Picada - Ensalada de Garbanzos y Pimientos Rojos
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In Catalonia, the picada is a necessary addition to many dishes. The ingredients vary but always include some type of nut such as almonds or hazelnuts along with garlic, parsley, saffron, pine nuts, crackers, chocolate or even chicken livers, and a slice of bread. These are crushed in a mortar in a variety of combinations and give the main ingredient a very special flavor.
Makes 4 servings.
Prep Time: 45 min.
Cook Time: 2 hr.
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12-14 oz chickpeas
Leave the chickpeas to soak overnight. Drain and simmer in boiling water with the onion, bay leaf, and pepper grains. After two hours, season with salt and continue cooking until soft. Wash the peppers, grease the skins, and roast in the oven for 40 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove and cover to make them sweat so the skins become loose. Peel and cut into strips, preserving any juices.
Picada: Lightly fry the cloves of garlic with the seeded red peppers, hazelnuts, and almonds. Transfer the mixture to the mortar and crush with the chopped parsley, crackers, and a few crystals of sea salt. Gradually add the oil and mix to form a paste. Dilute with a little stock from the chickpeas then add the sauce to the chickpeas, which should be just moist. If there is too much stock, drain it off. Add the strips of pepper and any juices. Check for seasoning and serve.
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