Every now and then, when I'm tired of my usual repertoire of dinner recipes, I?take to the Internet to find something new to me to try.
Often, I end up bookmarking recipes that I?never use, or I'll try a recipe once and never make it again. It's the rare recipe that makes its way into regular rotation.
I've been contemplating what makes a recipe a keeper. I usually get home from work between 6:30 and 7, and I'm not one for eating supper while the 10 p.m. news is on, so something that I?can put together quickly and easily is essential. I'm a big fan of one-skillet meals.
Chickpeas with broccoli rabe and bacon — or regular broccoli, if you prefer —?is an easy and satisfying dish to make after a long workday.
Adaptability is important, too. A recipe doesn't necessarily have to be gluten-free to make the cut; there are many ways to make a recipe gluten-free if it's not. But you're not going to find recipes calling for big, flour dumplings or pastry crust in my recipe file these days.
I?also try to eat good-for-me foods. Mom never had to force me to eat my vegetables when I?was a kid, and I?still appreciate a good veggie tray or a vegetable-packed entree.
And we can't forget taste. If a recipe meets all these criteria and is tasty to boot, there's a good chance I'll be making it again and again.
Chickpeas with Broccoli Rabe and Bacon
1 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Cook broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add bacon; saut 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in onion, oregano and red pepper; saut 4 minutes or until onion begins to soften, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; saut 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add chickpeas; saut 1 minute. Stir in broccoli rabe, salt and black pepper; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, tossing to combine. Place about 1 1/2 cups chickpea mixture on each of 4 plates; shave 1/2 ounce cheese evenly over each serving.
It was on one of my searches for new recipes that I?came across this recipe for chickpeas with broccoli rabe and bacon, which was originally featured in Cooking Light magazine. It quickly became one of my favorite meals.
As I?usually do, I make some substitutions when I?cook this up for dinner. I did make the recipe once with broccoli rabe, but it's a lot easier to pick up a package of broccoli florettes, so that substitution has become permanent. I?also add a little more garlic than the recipe calls for. In my opinion, there's no such thing as too much garlic.
Serve over a bed of rice for an easy and satisfying dinner.