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Chickpea Sauté with Basil and Pine Nuts

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Normally I can’t squeeze enough lemon or sprinkle enough vinegar over these sorts of salads, but I really like these chickpeas without any acid. If you have leftover cooked chickpeas, store them in the fridge in their cooking liquid. This sauté is great day-old, too, though the color of the herbs dulls after a night in the fridge.


  • soaking and cooking the chickpeas:
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 qts water
  • 1 lb. dried chickpeas
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved through the core
  • a few sprigs thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • for the sauté:
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or thinly sliced
  • 4 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
  • nice sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced basil or more to taste
  • a few tablespoons finely minced parsley or more to taste, optional
  • bread for serving


  1. Soaking and cooking the beans:Dissolve the 3 tablespoons of salt into the water. Add the chickpeas and soak for 8 to 24 hours. Drain, and place in a pot with the onion, thyme, garlic, bay leaf and remaining teaspoon of salt. Cover with water by three inches. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cook at the gentlest simmer for about an hour or until the chickpeas are cooked through. Let chickpeas cool in their cooking liquid. Discard thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and onion. Store chickpeas in their cooking liquid.
  2. Toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over low heat until light brown, about 5 to 10 minutes—watch closely to prevent burning. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  3. Making the sauté: Place the oil and chopped garlic in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the garlic starts sizzling in the oil, add the chickpeas, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Don’t be afraid to go big on the salt—chickpeas can handle it. I started with 1 teaspoon of Maldon sea salt, and then added a pinch more.
  4. Add the pine nuts and the herbs, and sauté for a few minutes or until the chickpeas are heated through and nicely coated in the oil and herbs. Serve with more salt and pepper on the side.