WRITTEN ON October 4th, 2010 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Beans, Chick peas, Dinner, Fish and Shellfish

Since my last post I’ve done a rather large overhaul on our pantry and our fridge. So far, so good; we’ve been able to eat mostly whole foods and from scratch meals, aside from two nights when we were out (see my comment about not being too nuts about the resolution).

In my excitement (ok, mania) about this new change, I decided to make a massive amount of chick peas to have on hand for snacking, salads, and sides. I think (know) I went a little overboard. Last week I had chick peas with basically every meal except for breakfast, and several handfuls in between meals. Don’t get me wrong, I love chick peas, but this was overkill. Lesson learned.  I made the entire bag of them, forgetting how much they’d swell when they were soaked and cooked. Given that cooked beans should be used within 4 days, I was practically floating away on a sea of garbanzos, and I ended up tossing a lot of them this morning.

This week I’m being a little more practical.  Tonight, for our pork and pinto chili, I actually read the bean-bag and portioned everything out properly. So while I think we’ll have some leftovers, we won’t be drowning in pork soup for a week (though if I could choose a way to go…).

I urge you to try this swordfish regardless of whether you use dried or canned beans. It’s somehow light and cozy all at once. I’ve always loved swordfish.  It’s substantial and steak-y and pairs well with ton of different flavors.  My favorite Rehoboth Beach restaurant, Fins, usually has swordfish as one of their “catch of the day” specials. Its served much more simply there, with lemon and wild rice, and it sings summer fish shack with every bite.  Now that we’re rounding the corner on fall (it is 54 degrees here today.  I’ve been cold since I got out of bed) I wanted to try a more earthy combination.  The juices from the fish soak into the warm chick peas, and the pesto is that perfect last bite of summer.  Send it out with a bang.

The mighty sword

Swordfish Steaks with Stewed Chick Peas and Basil Pesto (serves 2 generously)
3/4lb piece of swordfish, cut into two steaks
2 cups chick peas, cooked (canned or cooked according to package instructions)
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced small
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 large handfuls fresh basil
1 handful fresh parsley
1 handful pine nuts, toasted
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium sized saucepan, saute onion in a drizzle of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add tomatoes, parsley and half of the minced garlic.  Cook about 1 minute, add chick peas.  Season with salt and pepper. Cover, leaving lid a bit askew, to allow steam to escape. Stew chick peas over medium low heat about 30 minutes.  In the meantime prepare grill to medium high.  In a food processor, add basil, pine nuts, rest of garlic, salt and pepper.  Pour in about 1/4 cup olive oil while processor is running.  Taste pesto for seasoning.  Set aside. Rub fish with salt and pepper.  Oil grill well, then grill fish until firm, about 4 minutes per side. Serve on a bed of the chick peas, topped with pesto.

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