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::cooking for two:: Harissa Spiced Chickpeas

One of my favorite things about learning to cook is that I am no longer afraid to screw things up.  If it goes too badly, we’ll just order something.  It isn’t the end of the world.  This of course is made easier by only cooking for the two of us.  There is less wasted if I mess up, and less people to worry about pleasing.  I was so excite about this recipe since my Long Nights and Log Fires is mostly recipes for crowds and this one is simply for two.  It was a great easy meal (one pot!) during the cold winter in Philadelphia since I adapted it to fit what I had on hand, but I don’t think I would be opposed to it now that it is warmer out.

Really, it is just a new mixture of the same base ingredients I know and love.  Onion, garlic, beans, tomato, spinach.  Anything “spiced” falls into the category of “things we think we would like”.  Harissa and Haloumi, however, were two items neither of us had ever heard of.  Among the many different searches, I was told Harissa was anything from Greek to African.  Haloumi is a Greek cheese.  This dish is supposed to be Moroccan.  I’ll go with overall it is a Mediterranean dinner.  And based on this, how could you not enjoy it during the summer months?  I just imagine the Mediterranean to always be blue seas and bluer skies.  Ahhhhh…. Summer.  I watch too much TV.

What You Need
Step One
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
medium red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Step Two
1 Tbsp harissa
1 can of chickpeas, drained (garbanzo beans)
1 can diced tomatoes
Step Three
5 oz. Halloumi cheese, cubed
big handful of spinach leaves (~8-10oz)
Step Four
salt & pepper
juice from 1/2 lemon
fresh grated Parmesan

In a medium saucepan heat the oil over low heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened.

Stir in all step two ingredients and increase heat to medium/medium-high.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add in step three ingredients and cook over low heat for another 5 minutes.  Season to taste and stir in the lemon juice.  Serve immediately topped with fresh grated Parmesan.  Naan would go great with this dish as well to help soak up any bits of sauce leftover.

Serves: 2  Cost: $4/serving

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