Introduction: Spicy Chickpeas With Feta and Oregano

About: Everything needs a garnish. Let's talk food! Follow me on Twitter: @garnishgirl
In between grocery trips or before an extended trip, my cupboards has little more than dried beans and a few spices. At first glance, working with a limited ingredient base can be discouraging. However, cheese and herbs go a long way towards empty cupboard gourmet.

With a sprig of oregano from our patio herb garden, an extra nub of feta, and a sprinkle of intense cayenne, my limited supply of chickpeas became a simple yet satisfying dinner.

I added a squeeze of lemon to the beans and cayenne for a little extra tartness.  You can toss the beans in a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for the same effect, if your cupboard happens to be lean that day.

Spicy Chickpeas with Feta and Oregano
serves 4

2 cups chickpeas, cooked
1 lemon, halved and seeded (or) 1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T olive oil
3 T feta, crumbled
1 T oregano, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
black pepper

1. Boil the beans, if necessary. A quick method for beans (two hours preparation time), is to bring the beans to a rolling boil for two minutes, let stand for an hour, and simmer for one hour. I like to add salt and a bay leaf to the beans at the 45 minute mark.

2. When your beans are ready, toss them with one squeezed lemon, or a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and the tablespoon of olive oil. Add the cayenne and toss again.

3. Divide into a serving bowl, or four individual side dishes, and spoon the crumbled feta evenly over each bowl.

4. Finely chop the oregano leaves and distribute evenly as well.

5. Add a pinch of sea or kosher salt, a twist of pepper, and serve.