For years I belonged to the paradigm of not mixing fruits and vegetables. And actually, for most of my life I didn’t know that intersection even existed. I despised green salads with dried cranberries, the first instance of tasting this dangerous mingling. But it was the tiny mandarin orange that changed my mind, documented here on ES:
With the force of BS (and his pro-fruit agenda) behind me, I chose the mandarin orange and cranberry salad over mixed greens rather than the tired Romain. And I can’t lie, it was fabulous. The little bits of mandarin became a pop of flavor, letting the light vinaigrette mingle in the background with the assortment of cucumber slices and carrot shreds. Now I can’t say I’m a total convert, but once in a while I will worship to the alter of fruity salads. (Maybe I Am a Little Fruity, Feb 2008)
But that didn’t mean I actually created this combination in my own kitchen. I won’t automatically dismiss it in public, but in private, that’s something else.
And then I saw this recipe. I have no idea why I liked it. I don’t like fruit in my dinner, especially with the inclusion of cinnamon and cloves, but I went for it. Barely following the original recipe, of course.
Apples and Chickpeas with Apple Cider
Here is Stephanie Witt Sedgwick’s recipe for Moroccan Chickpeas with Apples. I followed her basic method, but used a green pepper and a different breed of apple (something the orchardist recommended for baking). I also didn’t have tomato paste, let alone double concentrated tomato paste, or stock. I switched the stock for apple cider, which also filled in for the 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar.
Now’s the sad part. When I first started cooking I made it my mission to own every spice possible. I’ve since slowed my roll on the collection process, instead buying fresh herbs when possible. But it’s Monday nights like this that make me wish I kept up the jarred seasonings. First, I couldn’t find the ground cinnamon (which I found later in the recycling bin) and I don’t own ground allspice, only whole, and I don’t think I’ve ever owned cloves. But I did have cumin, and then decided to add turmeric, curry powder and red pepper flakes.
After 15 minutes of a slight boil, I retasted and realized I still think fruit is weird for dinner, although it was pretty delicious. Especially the apple and cinnamon combo. The chickpeas reminded me I was eating dinner, but it was still weird. I squeezed lemon juice over top and was heavy handed with the salt and pepper. It also didn’t help that I used half water, half apple cider to cook the the side of bulgar wheat (which was savor-ized with salt and lemon).
For additional sourness and salt, I kept a heavily buttered piece of farmers market caraway rye bread on the side.
And what did 80P have to say about this filling, vegan meal: “Sausage would be really good in this.”