Chock full of vitamins, minerals like phosphorus and calcium, and fibers, it is no surprise that Cicerchie used to be called “the meat of peasants”. They are a wild variety of chickpeas, very similar both in taste and shape, with a stronger personality and more earthy and rich notes.
We love Cicerchie for a twist on pasta e fagioli, in warm soups and stews alongside other beans + grains, or simply on a slice of toasted bread with an abundant drizzle of Umbrian, intense EVOO (talking about you, Frantoio Gaudenzi Quinta Luna!).
SERVES: 4 people
TIME: About 1 hour, plus soaking time (8 to 24 hours)
- Soak Cicerchie in salted water for at least 8 hours and up to 24 at room temperature (leave enough room to allow them to double in volume).
- Drain Cicerchie and place them in a pot. Fill with enough water to cover by at least 3 inches. Season with salt and add the aromatics (herbs + vegetables). If you mind picking the aromatics out later, use a cheesecloth to make a sachet.
- Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer.
- Cook uncovered, skimming the surface of foam as needed.
- Cicerchie will be cooked when they have an evenly tender texture, but still a bite (approximately 1 hour).
- Once cooled, discard the aromatics, drain*, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Serve it on a slice of toasted bread, as a flavorful side dish, or add a little extra broth and serve as a soup.
*The cooking water of legumes is extremely rich in flavors and nutrients: it makes an outstanding broth or base for any recipe. Do not discard and store in the refrigerator or freezer for further use.