Revithia me Ryzi

Chickpeas with Rice

THIS RECIPE comes from the Sephardic community of Rhodes. You can make an equally terrific dish using white or cranberry beans instead of chickpeas. The grated cheese is my own addition and can be omitted if you are serving the dish as an accompaniment to meat or poultry.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (see Note)
  • Salt
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⅓ cups coarsely chopped onions
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1–2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper or pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock or water, heated, plus extra if needed
  • 1 cup peeled, seeded and diced ripe tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup medium-grain rice, such as Arborio
  • ½ cup grated hard myzithra, crumbled feta or grated pecorino Romano cheese (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Method

In a Dutch oven, heat cup of the oil and sauté the onions over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until soft. Add the wine and pepper or pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute over high heat. Add 2 cups of the stock or water, the chickpeas, tomatoes, cinnamon stick, bay leaf and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the rice and the remaining 2 cups stock or water and bring to a boil, cover, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often and adding a little more stock or water if needed, for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender.

Add the remaining cup oil and the cheese, if using. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Cover, remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaf, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

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