Chickpeas, Mushrooms and Italian Sausage

20 May

This was an amazing dish considering I left my home this morning thinking I needed to go grocery shopping and then decided to skip out and graze lazily instead of cooking something I could keep for lunch at work the next day.  This laziness was inexcusable, considering I had just organized an Earth Day event at work, and one of the tips we gave was for people to take their lunches to work instead of ordering.

As it turns out, I had more than enough ingredients at home; I just hadn’t imagined them together before they actually came together in the pan.  Now I can go to sleep tonight without feeling like a hypocrite because I’ve got plenty of leftovers.  I served the dish below over brown rice, but it’s good alone as well.

Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3-4 cups cherry tomatoes, run through a food processor until minced with juices
15 brown Chinese mushrooms, or shittake mushrooms
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 T. butter
fresh basil
4 links (more or less 1 lb.) Italian sausage
lemon juice from one half a lemon
1 t. cumin
2 T. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. bread crumbs, finely ground 

Directions:

Brown sausage as whole links in pan, cooking covered over a medium-low heat with 1/4 c. water until cooked through. Partially cover, turn up heat and then brown slightly before removing from pan and letting drain.

Add 1/2 butter to a pan and let melt.  Add onion and saute until sweating and then add mushrooms.  When mushrooms begin to wilt, add the rest of the butter and bread crumbs.  Add cumin and red wine vinegar, and mix thoroughly.  Add chickpeas and combine, then add tomatoes.  Heat through for about 3 minutes, then add fresh basil in whole leaves and lemon juice.  Add sausage, cut into 1/2 in. pieces.  Combine and remove from heat.

Note:

That amazingly-talented woman on smittenkitchen.com has a chickpea and garbanzo bean recipe that I adore, and she has a breadcrumb base that I can’t get enough of.  It inspired this dish, and next time I make this dish, I intend to make it more like she does in her recipe.  That means using fresh bread instead of breadcrumbs, browning it as croutons in the pan with oil and adding cumin, then putting through the food processor with garlic and red wine vinegar.  It’s got a much stronger taste when done that way, and the fresh bread instead of breadcrumbs add a hearty and tangy meatiness. 

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