Chickpea and tomato bake


I’m having a good few days for finding ways to flavour ingredients I normally struggle with. My solution with today’s ingredient, chickpeas, was to make the sauce by roasting rather than frying and keeping the chickpeas in it the whole way through. Normally I add them towards the end to stop them from overcooking, but this time I just bunged everything in a roasting pan and I liked the result. The aubergine almost melts into the sauce, becoming buttery. The brown rice (and I think it’s pretty important to use brown rice, but it’s your call) provides chew, complementing the softness of the chickpeas and tomatoes. All in all, this dish is comforting and warm, good for when it has literally not stopped raining all day and you haven’t slept the night before.


400g tin of chickpeas
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 white onion
1 clove garlic
1 aubergine
200g cherry tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
1 tbsp olive oil
300g brown rice

Serves 4
Calories: 450
Takes 50 minutes to make

Stage one: Preheat the oven to 190C/fan170C. Get out a roasting tin. Drain the chickpeas and tip them in. Add the chopped tomatoes. Thinly slice and onion and finely chop the garlic and bung them in too, along with the cherry tomatoes. Chop the aubergine into cubes of about an inch and add. Drizzle in the oil, chilli and oregano and season really well – chickpeas aren’t salty, so you’ll need to add some extra tang. Give everything a mix around, and then try not to look at it too hard. It won’t look promising. It looks like it will never come together. It looks bad. Don’t worry, it will be alright. Put it in the oven and cook for 40 minutes, giving it a mix around every 10-15 minutes so it doesn’t catch.


Stage two: Cook the brown rice according to the instructions on the packet. Brown rice usually takes ages to cook – mine took about 35 minutes. If it takes longer than you’d expect, that’s ok because the vegetables won’t suffer for an extra 5 or 10 minutes in the oven.


Stage three: Drain the rice (if necessary) and dish it out, and then serve the chickpea bake on top.


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