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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chickpeas with Sausage, Raisins, and Walnuts

Chickpeas with Sausage, Raisins, and Walnuts 1

On the same day I had planned to make my Bo Kho (Vietnamese Beef Stew), I also saw BB of Eat. Drink. Think. post about his trip to La Boqueria, a marketplace in Barcelona, Spain and the chickpea dish he ate each day from Pinotxo. I love chickpeas so discovering a new preparation for them was good enough for me. But BB's post also involved a chance encounter with... Well, I won't spoil it for you by telling his story. So you'll just have to visit his blog to get the story and to see pictures of the market.

Suffice it to say, the chickpea dish lingered in his memory and BB gave a bottle of St. Innocent pinot noir as a bribe in order to get the recipe.

Chickpeas with Sausage, Raisins, and Walnuts 2

It was a toss-up whether I would cook the Vietnamese beef stew I originally intended, or the chickpeas for dinner that night. In the end, I figured I needed to eat something while I waited several hours until my bo kho was ready. Of course, my adaptations were the poor (wo)man's version of this dish, but it was mighty tasty, just the same.

I substituted sweet Italian sausage for the blood sausage, and walnuts for the pine nuts that were originally called for in the recipe. Added bacon, because everything tastes better with bacon.

This dish has so many textures and flavors, it's rather hard to describe. The creamy crispness of the chickpeas, the sweetness of the raisins, the crunch of the walnuts, and the tartness of the vinegar. I realize it looks like an odd mash. Lil' sis came home late that night and raided the kitchen. This dish was still in a pan on top of the stove. She tried a spoonful, couldn't figure out what she was eating, but kept eating and eating anyway.

Chickpeas with Sausage, Raisins, and Walnuts 3

Chickpeas with Sausage, Raisins, and Walnuts
Adapted from Jeff Koehler's recipe for Pinotxo's Chickpeas with Blood Sausage, Raisins, and Pine Nuts.

You'll need:
2 Italian sausage links, casings removed
2 pieces of bacon, chopped
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup golden raisins, soaked in warm water
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Drizzle of olive oil
A few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, diced
Juice from 1/2 lemon

Optional: French bread for serving.

Soak the golden raisins in warm water. Set aside.

Quarter and thinly slice 1 small onion. Set aside.

Chop 2 slices of bacon. Set aside.

Remove 2 Italian sausages from their casings.

In a pan on high heat, drizzle some olive oil and saute the onion, bacon, and Italian sausage, breaking the sausage meat into smaller pieces. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt.

When the meat is cooked, drain the raisins and add them to the pan along with the chopped walnuts and chickpeas.

Stir. Turn the heat down to medium and let simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes until the flavors are evenly mixed.

Before serving, add chopped flat-leaf parsley, the juice of 1/2 a lemon, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serve with French bread to mop up the juices.


My other Spanish recipes:
Sangria with Red Wine
Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Potato Omelet)

1 year ago today, best of 2007 recipes from aji verde (Peruvian green chili sauce) to butter.
2 years ago today, two of my cousins started quilting too.


  1. This sounds good. The raisins would add a nice sweetness to an otherwise savoury dish.

  2. btw... i am OBSESSED with your BLOG.... SERIOUSLY it's food porn FOR DAYS...

  3. Hey, thanks for pimping me in your post. Your pics are great, btw! That looks so good, and again major props to you for making one dinner to tide you over 'til your OTHER dinner was ready....most impressive!! I am somewhat ashamed I still haven't made it, but I swear this is the week.....I hope......

  4. Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy Niu Year! ;)

  5. Yum..thanks for the idea for tomorrow night's dinner. I had a bunch of extra chickpeas after making minestrone soup that I didn't know what to do with, so I'm curious to try some with onions and raisins. I like the dividers, BTW!

  6. "Added bacon, because everything tastes better with bacon." You said it, sistah! Amen!

  7. Would you believe I have not tried coking chickpeas? I know they are healthy but the kids dont exactly like them :)

  8. This is my kind of recipe - very healthy with the chick peas and yet with the right amount of fat for flavor. Just when I think I could live/eat happily as a vegetarian, a recipe like this comes along and I realize I'm fooling myself.

  9. Kevin,
    Yup. The raisins were a nice contrast to the meat.

    Kimberly Tia,
    Haha! Thanks lady! That compliment made me smile. :)

    I know! I can't believe you haven't made it yet with all the trouble you went through to obtain the recipe!

    Food for Tots,
    Happy New Year to you too!

    Thanks for showing me how! It's a nice little line isn't it? :P

    I looove bacon. The one thing I really missed about living in London was that the Brits had five kinds of bacon!

    That's so surprising since your kids seem to love everything.

    I could never be a vegetarian. I just love meat too much. I don't eat a lot of it, but just a little bit of meat makes food taste so good.

  10. That happens to me all the time! (Needing to eat something while waiting for another food item to finish cooking.)

    Love this: "She tried a spoonful, couldn't figure out what she was eating, but kept eating and eating anyway."


  11. TS,
    It seems like I'm always cooking multiple dishes at a time. I guess it's easier for the blog because then I photograph it all at once.


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