This colourful veggie meal is full of flavour and quick, making it perfect to rustle up on rushed midweek evenings. It tastes brilliant – the zinginess of the lemon and fresh herbs plus the spicy harissa combine to give a bold summery flavour.
Notes on my recipe
This recipe is based on The Times Magazine’s chickpeas and feta dish from its ‘A Jar of Harissa’ edition of its excellent ‘The Only Four Recipes You’ll Ever Need’ (4 July 2015). I love chickpeas and have made this meal following The Times Magazine’s recipe to the letter. I came to make it again this week and after rummaging in the cupboard for chickpeas (of course we’ve got plenty of them, we’ve always got plenty of them), I found we only had one can). I substituted a personal favourite, a can of butter beans and to bulk out the meal further, a can of red kidney beans. The end result was pretty different to the original recipe but still rather lovely.
To up the veg content, I added a couple of handfuls of cooked peas and sweetcorn to the pot shortly before serving.
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 1 tin of red kidney beans
- 1 tin of chickpeas
- 1 tin of butterbeans
- 3 tbsp of harissa (as a guide, use one tbsp of harissa for each can of beans)
- 1 or 2 unwaxed lemons (depending on your zestiness preferences), zested and juiced
- 2 red onions, sliced
- Fresh herbs – I used basil and oregano as it’s what’s growing out on our balcony. The Times recommended parsley. Go with what you fancy.
- 200g feta, chopped into cubes or crumbled
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to season
- Slice the onions and sweat them in a pan with the olive oil (lid on) for about 10 minutes until they’re nice and soft. A. gave me a great tip for onions – don’t stir them. This way, they caramelise more.
- Add 1 tbsp of harissa and cook for a minute or so.
- Add the beans and the rest of the harissa. Mix well.
- Pop in the lemon zest (keep a little back for serving), juice and most of the chopped herbs.
- Add about ¾ of the feta to the pot and mix it in.
- Add any other cooked veg you’re using.
- Season to taste and serve with the extra feta, lemon zest and herbs on top.
- Beans and pulses – as my experience proves, this recipe is quite adaptable. You could substitute in most kinds of beans with great results. This would also work with lentils, quinoa and other grains.
- Eggs – I love the salty tang of feta but the flavours would also work well with eggs (boiled, poached or fried).
- Naked – this dish would be just as satisfying, tasty and, not to mention, vegan-friendly without the cheese or eggs.
Let me know if you give the go – I’d love to hear about your variations.