Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Tomato & Chickpea Bake for the uninspired

So I bet you're all there producing delicious home cooked food for your nearest and dearest, loving it all, floating round the  kitchen, listening to the birds tweeting outside (no 140 character restriction for them), feeling like all is right with the world. 

Tell me you are, because I am most definitely not.

Yes, I am still stuck in a rut. Struck with kitchen paralysis. Needs must, however, and we all have to eat, so at the weekend, I gathered together my not inconsiderable stack of back copies of June Good Food, and worked my way through them, noting down any recipes I liked the look of - even in an "abstract-not-sure-I-can-be-arsed" type of way. For good measure, I did the same with Lorraine Pascale's Fast Fresh & Easy Food, which I got for Christmas and haven't really looked at, and also with the Leon Family & Friends book (ditto, although this one has at least made it to bedside reading).

The idea was that once the veg box arrived this evening, I could finalise a meal plan based on the recipes I had bookmarked, finalise an online shopping list (already full of the monthly supermarket staples such as washing powder and dog poo bags), get myself down to the butcher's tomorrow, and then just cook my way back into the groove. That's the idea, anyway. Instead, I'm writing this. But I will sort out the shopping soon. Honest.

Obviously, in the absence of the veg box till this evening, I have been making do. This evening's meal came courtesy of what was on offer in the Co-Op (tomatoes), what was in the garden (lots of parsley & thyme) and this recipe in Good Food June 2009...

Tomato & Chickpea bake

2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion
1 courgette
1 tsp harissa paste
800g tomatoes, peeled & de-seeded (if you can be bothered)
Some sprigs of thyme, leaves only
fresh ground pepper
400g can chickpeas, drained
big bunch of parsley, chopped
4-6 slices of decent crusty white bread - baguette or similar
50g finely grated cheese

Pre-heat the oven to 200C

Heat 1 tbsps olive oil in a large pan and chop the onion and courgette quite finely. Add to the pan and cook on a gentle heat for 8-10 minutes, then stir in the harissa.

Add the chopped tomatoes and about 200ml water, half the thyme leaves and a couple of grinds of pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 8 minutes, then add the chickpeas and cook for another couple of minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley, and tip into an oven proof dish.

Brush the slices of bread lightly with oil from the remaining tablespoon. Mix together the cheese and the rest of the thyme. Lay the bread over the chick peas and tomato mixture, then scatter over the cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes till the cheese and bread are golden

The kids (and the Husband) had it with sausages. I just had it as it was. You might want to add some Tabasco, or other chilli sauce (or just increase the harissa, depending on the palates you are catering for).

As my blogging mojo has disappeared somewhat with my cooking mojo, I am attempting to get myself back up there by linking this up to a few blogging events.

All the parsley and thyme put this squarely in Herbs on a Saturday territory, and June's challenge is hosted by Karen herself on Lavender & Lovage

Bookmarked Recipes also applies here, hosted by Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes, even though I suppose I haven't really cooked what the recipe was at all. 


  1. This looks lovely. Hope you get yo mojo workin again RJ! :)

  2. Understandable. Great recipe!

  3. It sounds delicious! Hope you get over your cooking block soon! :)

  4. This looks lovely RJ! I know what you mean about your cooking mojo going awol. When mine does one, this book never fails me http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pig-Cooking-Passion-Johnnie-Mountain/dp/1848990367/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370640957&sr=1-1&keywords=pig

  5. A LOVELY entry for cooking with herbs, and I DO love tomatoes when added to chickpeas, as a combination, so this would really appeal to me any night of the week! Karen

  6. Ah, I understand the 'uninspired' feeling. It happens to all of us. This is a gorgeous, nutritious and warming recipe though. I like the crunchy, cheesy bread topping and the use of harissa! Hope that your energy and inspiration returns soon. Your blog is lovely :)

    1. Thank you! Glad you like my blog. I'm feeling much more inspired.


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