Only Elizabeth David…..

April 3, 2015

Been reading Elizabeth David's wonderful An Omelette and a Glass of Wine, as I prepare for a workshop at the Iceland Writer's Retreat next week. So much great stuff here.  This particular sentence stopped me cold: 

“I can only say that there are times when one positively craves for something totally unsensational; the meals in which every dish is an attempted or even a successful tour de force are always a bit of a trial.”

A little bit later I came upon this recipe for an extremely unsensational chick pea salad.  Intriguing: it's basically hummus without the tahini, and without being pureed. (And I'm curious about that tablespoon of flour.  What's that doing there?) 

Elizabeth David’s Salade de Pois Chiches

Soak 1/2 lb. of chick peas overninght in plenty of cold water into which you stir a tablespoon of flour.  Next day put them in a suacepan with the same water, plus a half teaspoon of baking soda.  Simmer them for an hour. Skim and strain.

Rinse out the saucepan, fill it with 3 pints fresh water, bring to the boil, add a tablespoon of salt, put in the chick peas and simmer another 1 to 2 hours until the peas are perfectly tender and the skins beginning to break.

Strain them (keep the liquid – it will make a good basis for a vegetable soup), put them in a bowl and while still hot stir in plenty of olive oil, sliced onion, garlic, parsley and a little vinegar.

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