Cousin Melissa’s Ceci Mash

As you all may have guessed by now, I am a fiend for just about anything in the legume family.  They are not only nutritious, but delicious and versatile at the same time!  I do suspect, however, that I have been neglecting the lovely chickpea (or ceci in Italian) in favor of cannellini beans for a while because I’m just not always sure what to do with them outside of creating hummus (& because of Sahara Restaurant down the street I do not make my own hummus).  A few years ago the women in our family went on a weekend getaway to Reno, NV.  One thing that I could never get out of my mind from that weekend was my cousin Melissa telling me of a dish that a catering company that she once worked for used to make.  She called it Ceci Mash.  We parted ways, her back to Oregon, me back to New Mexico, and I had totally forgotten to ask her for the recipe! 

Fast forward 2 1/2 years to this past Easter that we all spent gathered in my Grandmother’s house the day after her memorial service.  Melissa and (her then fiancé, now husband) Seth made a fantastic Italian spread for Easter dinner.  One of the dishes was the Ceci Mash that I had never had the opportunity to taste, and I was hooked!  I took all of the leftovers back to our hotel room and I ate it before bed and for breakfast in the morning.  Yep.  It was that good.  In the chaos of Gemma wrangling and visiting with family I had forgotten to ask her for the recipe!  So the day after Melissa and Seth’s wedding just less than two weeks ago there was a brunch and I sidled up to her and asked her for the key to the magic mash.  She kindly gave it to me!

She said that a key ingredient is a lemon-infused olive oil called Agrumato .  I don’t have this and I really could not justify spending $20+ on a bottle even if I could find one right now, so I used lemon juice and olive oil.  It worked out just fine, but if I ever do get my hands on a bottle of the good stuff I will let you know how it is!

Cousin Melissa’s Ceci Mash

adapted from a recipe from Cousin Melissa’s catering days that she recounted to me at brunch the day after her wedding where we both had probably had a few glasses of champagne!

Ingredients:

*2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

*1 1/3 cups vegetable broth

*Juice of ½ lemon

*2 tbsp olive oil

*2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley –optional (or other herb of your choice)

*Freshly grated parmesan cheese

To Make:

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees

*Place chickpeas and broth in a saucepan and cook until liquid has reduced almost entirely. (this took about 15-20 minutes for me)

*Transfer chickpeas into a bowl or small baking dish (I use this one) and mash (using either an immersion blender or a potato masher) to your desired consistency (just keep in mind as you’re preparing this that the final texture that you’re going for is more mashed potatoes and less hummus).

*Stir in lemon juice and olive oil and incorporate completely.

* Incorporate herbs now if you’re using them.

*Transfer mixture to baking dish and top with enough parmesan cheese to cover.

*Bake for 10 minutes and serve!

Survey Says:

WOW!  I mean I knew this dish was a winner from when Melissa made it for Easter dinner, but I had doubts about my ability to recreate it after just hearing it once.  Well, dear readers, I did it!  Jake and I really enjoyed this and paired it with an arugula salad dressed simply with lemon juice and some olive oil, but I could see roasted or grilled veggies also being a great complement!  It is very filling and so nutritious at the same time.  I dare you to serve it in place of mashed potatoes (probably not at Thanksgiving, though) and see what everyone thinks!!

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Mmm, chickpea mash sounds yummy. I hated them as a kid but love them as an adult. Looking forward to trying out your recipe:)

    Reply

  2. Wow I have never heard of mashing chick peas before that is amazing! I’ll have to try this and soon.

    Reply

  3. I know!! I had never heard of it until my cousin told me! It is easy, tasty, and unexpected!

    Reply

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