Pedrosillano Chickpeas with Sumac & Labneh Cheese

From Chef Debi Smissen of Tom Douglas Restaurant
As featured on the Cooking Demo Stage at the 2016 National Lentil Festival

Photo courtesy of Chef Debi Smissen of Tom Douglas Restaurants

- Ingredients for the Labneh cheese:

2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 cup extra virgin Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Lemon zest, finely chopped
1 sprig Rosemary

Put 2 cups of Greek yogurt in a double layer of cheesecloth, place in a strainer over a bowl and refrigerate for 2 or 3 days.

Gently squeeze out excess liquid. Season with salt & pepper to taste and add lemon zest.

Roll into small balls and place in a jar with rosemary sprig and cover with olive oil. Keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

- Ingredients for chickpeas & vinaigrette:

2 cups dried PNW Co-op Pedrosillano or York chickpeas, rinsed & sorted
2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons Aleppo Chile Pepper
4 teaspoons Sumac
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Pomegranate Molasses
2 sprigs Parsley
2 sprigs Mint
3 cups assorted seasonal vegetables

Soak the chickpeas overnight with 6 cups water. Drain, return to pot & cover chickpeas with 4 inches of water. Bring to boil and skim off foam. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 40 minutes or until tender. Cool in their cooking liquid with one tablespoon salt.

Whisk together the garlic, Aleppo, sumac, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses with 1/2 cup olive oil and 2 teaspoons salt.

Drain chickpeas and toss with vinaigrette. This can be done two days in advance. Flavor intensifies if marinated for a day or two.

Toss chickpea mixture with parsley, mint and vegetables of your choice. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Top with Labneh cheese.

Yield: 7 cups, serves 4-6 as a side dish

Seasonal vegetable suggestions:
Spring: English peas, asparagus and fava beans
Summer: Cherry tomatoes, cucumber, green onion & eggplant
Fall & Winter: Roasted butternut squash, pomegranate arils and pears.

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