Barbecued chickpeas have long been a fond favourite of mine. It’s a tasty, simple dish involving the obvious two ingredients, plus a drizzle of oil, then baking at 375 to 400 for about 20 minutes. Finding an appropriate barbecue sauce, often leaves me barreling down the foodstore aisles shouting profanities in opposition of the needlessly high sodium content and presence of high fructose corn syrup and, not rarely enough, Worcestershire sauce (hello, anchovies. Why are you in my food.)
In the past, I’ve occasionally whipped up a slacker’s homemade sauce with a cheater’s ketchup base. Not that I’m scorning this corner-cutting route: I’ve done it before and, left hungry enough and short enough on time, I might do it again.
But since I found myself home a little early, and organized enough to start dinner before starvation had fully set in, I decided to try a proper, from-scratch version. I’m wild about the sweet sting of balsamic vinegar, and I’ve already made my feelings about maple syrup known, so I was sure to include those to lend tasty sweetness to this sauce.
1 Tbsp oil
1/3 cup chopped baby leek
2 medium-large garlic cloves, sliced
2 cups pureed canned tomato (I’m sure fresh would be nice too: they’re not yet in season here, though, and I luckily had some home-canned jars from last summer)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 grates freshly ground nutmeg (about a pinch or two)
3/4 to 1 tsp salt (I was using a very mild, totally unprocessed sea salt harvested from a Bahamian salt pond, so went for 1tsp)
1. Heat oil over medium, in a medium pot. Add leek and garlic, and cook until just starting to brown.
2. Add remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil.
3. Once boiling, reduce heat slightly, but maintain a rolling boil. Cover and allow to cook 20-30 minutes, or until thickened.
Simple, tasty, and really very low maintenance. Just as well, since I was making every other dish under the sun simultaneously!