Garbanzo beans, although relatively bland, have a rich texture that can be easily perked up with herbs and spices.

For vegetarians, legumes are a standard source of protein, so variety in the bean preparation is always welcome.

In this garbanzo patty recipe, a food processor makes light of the work.

The Garbanzo Stew can be made ahead and re-heated. Both recipes are great for easy dinners, pot-luck gatherings or to pack for lunches in the week ahead.


Garbanzo Bean Patties

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped finely

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

¼ cup finely minced parsley or 2 tablespoons dry parsley flakes

¼ cup oats

1 can (540 ml) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 egg

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

PREPARATION:

In a skillet, heat one tablespoon oil.

Sauté onion and garlic for about three minutes.

Add in cumin and garlic, stir to mix and turn off heat; set aside.

Meanwhile, in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, grind the oats until very fine.

Add in the washed and drained garbanzo beans and process until smooth. Add in egg, salt and pepper.

Add in cooked onion mixture and blend again.

Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover tightly and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat the additional two tablespoons of oil.

Form the chilled garbanzo mixture into patties of about ¼ cup each.

Fry the patties for about three minutes per side.

Transfer the fried patties to a baking sheet covered with foil or parchment paper.

Bake in a 325F oven for about five minutes.

Serve with tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh basil tossed in, a little olive oil and fresh garlic.

Or serve with a dip made with ½ cup plain Balkan style yogurt mixed with one teaspoon fresh or ½ teaspoon dried dill, pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.


Garbanzo Bean Stew

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced

2 carrots peeled and diced

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

1 can (398 ml) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup vegetable stock

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoon ground coriander

? teaspoon cayenne pepper

PREPARATION:

In a heavy skillet, heat oil and sauté onion and garlic.

Add in squash and carrots, cooking for about two to three minutes.

Add in Roma tomatoes, garbanzo beans, vegetable stock and lemon juice, stirring just until combined and heated throughout.

Add in salt, coriander and cayenne pepper.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Make ahead and transfer to heat-proof casserole dish.

Re-heat at 350F for about 15 minutes. Do not over-cook; vegetables should be tender-crisp.

Yield = 6 cups