After a month of waiting for our preserved meyer lemons to finish curing, we could not wait to start using them in as many recipes as possible! While preserved lemons are not used in traditional Greek cooking, lemons are – so we knew that preserved lemons would be a natural fit in our Greek kitchen. The first way I dreamt of using them was to add them into oven roasted chickpeas (revithia sto fourno in Greek). This simple Greek recipe calls for nothing more than olive oil, chickpeas, caramelized onions, fresh rosemary & a touch of red chili. Understanding the incredible lemony umami that preserved lemons add to everything, I knew that our oven roasted preserved lemon chickpeas would enhance the traditional Greek revithia dish to new heights.
Oven roasted chickpeas are traditionally eaten in Greece during Lent (the period of fasting leading in to Passover & the Resurrection celebration). In the past, the chickpeas were made in clay pots and slow cooked overnight in outdoor stone ovens. Here, we have adapted it to modern times by using canned chickpeas and roasting in a conventional oven resulting in a dish that takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.
Thinly sliced caramelized onions meld together with the preserved lemons creating the perfect balance of sweet, salty, sour & savory. The rosemary adds its classic flavor and fragrance to the whole dish, and a bit of red chili lends just a touch of heat. The chickpeas and all of the above said goodness take a nice hot bath in copious amounts of extra virgin olive oil and then you are rewarded with a simply incredible dish that can be used in so many ways.
The most basic way to enjoy these oven roasted preserved lemon chickpeas is to spoon it on top of a crusty slice of bread. We can eat the whole tray just like this, but it also makes a lovely accompaniment as a side dish to chicken or fish. You can use it in salads, wraps or even on top of yogurt for a savory yogurt bowl…the possibilities are truly endless.
You can even turn it into breakfast or brunch by making wells to hold eggs, top with breadcrumbs and then bake at 375F for about 12-15 minutes for runny yolks. No matter how you choose to eat the final product, you are going to want to eat these oven roasted preserved lemon chickpeas all of the time.
Stay tuned for more preserved lemon recipes…and if you have not made a batch yet, what are you waiting for? Our recipe for preserved meyer lemons can be found here
- 2 15-oz cans chickpeas, drained
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 preserved lemons, flesh removed, peels rinsed & finely diced
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, broken into 2 inch sections
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pre-heat oven to 375F
- In a skillet, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat, add thinly sliced onions & cook over medium low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often until softened & nicely caramelized
- Add caramelized onions to a 9"X13" baking dish along with chickpeas, olive oil, diced preserved lemon, rosemary, chili flakes & salt - stir to combine
- Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes & then serve hot, warm or even at room temperature