One of the big perks of working at BenBella is getting to check out all of the scrumptious new cookbooks. With so many talented authors on our roster, it’s easy to end up experimenting a lot in the kitchen and developing fresh culinary favorites. In the Staff Recipe Favorites column, we’ll be sharing some of the best-loved employee eats. We hope you enjoy as much as we do! See previous posts here.
Oven-Baked Chickpea Ratatouille from The China Study All-Star Collection edited by LeAnne Campbell, PhD
Thoughts from Brittney
Even in Texas winter has to arrive at some point, so I love to have a stockpile of quick and easy recipes to keep me warm during the cold nights. One of my favorites is from The China Study All-Star Collection, the Oven-Baked Chickpea Ratatouille contributed by Dreena Burton. It meets all my criteria for a perfect recipe: it’s cheap, easy, and there’s little clean up. Even my Beloved, who believes the best meals have a healthy serving of cheese to go with them, is enamored with this meal.
Oven-Baked Chickpea Ratatouille is so simple that even the most novice cooks can master it. If you feel a little daring, the recipe makes it easy to add or subtract ingredients to your liking. For example, I skip out on the bell peppers (not my favorite) and replace the freshly grated ginger with some ground ginger I had (for no reason other than I didn’t want to buy more ginger).
The best part of the recipe (other than how delicious it is)? It’s one of those “put all the ingredients into a casserole dish, mix, and bake” recipes! Nothing is easier than that! Below is a picture of my mixed ratatouille. I chose to do it in a bowl because I find the mixing easier than if I put it in a casserole dish.
After mixing the ingredients, I tossed it in the oven and baked for about an hour and a half (stirring three times during the bake time). Here’s a look at the final product!
It is so good and there is so much flavor! I like putting it in a tortilla, but can also eat it plain. There’s nothing better on a cold day than a warm meal, especially if that meal didn’t break the bank or cause a lot of clean up afterwards. I highly recommend the Oven-Baked Chickpea Ratatouille as one of your go-to winter recipes.
Make it Yourself
MAKES 5–6 SERVINGS
This dish is much like ratatouille in appearance but uses chickpeas and an original spice combination. The flavors are complex and the preparation minimal!
3 1/2–4 cups cooked or 2 14- or 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 1/4 cups red onion, finely chopped 3–4 medium-large cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (see Tips)
1/2 cup diced red or orange bell pepper
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons maple syrup or agave nectar
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 dried bay leaves
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a large, deep casserole dish, combine all ingredients except bay leaves
- Stir through until well combined, then embed bay leaves in the mixture.
- Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
- Stir through, cover, and bake for another 35–45 minutes until onions are tender and translucent (stir through once more during baking).
- Remove bay leaves and serve over quinoa or brown rice.
- Use regular diced tomatoes or Italian flavored or fire-roasted for a twist.
- Try making burritos with leftovers. Spoon the mixture onto whole-grain tortillas, roll up, and place in a baking dish, then bake until golden.
- This makes a large batch, but portions can be refrigerated or frozen.