I made this with brown rice, but you could certainly substitute other grains. I suspect quinoa or millet would make nice substitutes (or even a short whole-grain pasta?). As I mentioned above, seeking out the pre-cooked brown rice in the freezer section helps shave quite a lot of time in this recipe. But feel free to go from scratch with your favorite rice. Use two cans of chickpeas/garbanzo beans if you love them like I do - one can if you're only a general enthusiast ;)...
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 or 2 14-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch segments
3 cups pre-cooked brown rice
1 cup almond slivers, toasted
fine grain sea salt
1 garlic clove, smashed and chopped
1/4 cup tahini
zest of one lemon
scant 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons hot water
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
If you're using frozen rice (did I just say that?), heat it on its own in a pot or per package instructions.
Make the dressing by whisking together the garlic, tahini, lemon zest and juice, and olive oil. Add the hot water to thin a bit and then the salt. Set aside.
Add a couple glugs of olive oil (roughly 3 tablespoons) to a big skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl the oil around to coat the pan, then add the chickpeas and sprinkling of salt. Let the beans saute there for a couple minutes (I like to try to get some crusty color on them). Be careful, they seem to hiss and pop more then other beans over high heat. Add the garlic and onions. Stir for a minute. Stir in the asparagus with another pinch or two of salt, cover with a lid for a minute or two to steam - just until the asparagus brightens and softens up just a bit. Uncover and stir in the rice and almond slivers, reserving a few almonds for garnish. Taste and add more salt if needed (likely). Serve family-style in a big bowl drizzled with a few tablespoons of the tahini dressing, let each person add more dressing to their tastes.
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