This easy to prepare dish is completely vegan and out of this world. What really elevates this version are the garbanzo beans that I picked up from the sprout man at my local farmers' market, but you can certainly substitute dried beans that have been pre-soaked and cooked, according to package directions, or even canned garbanzos, and get delicious results. —Mandy Bora
Fresh Padron peppers
plus 1 teaspoon Extra virgin olive oil
Remove only the hard stems from 10-15 Padron peppers, leaving the pods intact, drizzle them with just a bit of olive oil (about a teaspoon) and a pinch of sea salt, and toss them around. Place them in a hot frying pan and let them sizzle until they are blistered and just tender (about 5 minutes). (Now I recommend popping one in your mouth -- because they are so good! -- and reserving the rest for the dish.)
Next, I peel and slice three beautiful heirloom tomatoes into 8 -10 wedges per tomato. Likewise, peel a slice one white onion into thin vertical slices. Salt the tomatoes after slicing with a pinch of sea salt to enhance their flavor.
Heat up about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven. Saute the sliced onions in the olive oil for a few minutes until they are a bit tender, and then I add the tomatoes and let them cook together over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Then add the blistered Padron peppers (whole), and just a tiny amount of tomato paste.
Finally, add the Garbanzo beans, 2 cloves of fresh garlic sliced very thin (or a few dashes of garlic powder), 1 teaspoon of freshly ground cumin seeds (it's fine to substitute cumin powder), a bit of spicy red pepper to taste, and salt and black pepper to taste.
Cover the mixture with enough water to just cover the beans, bring everything to a boil, and simmer for at least an hour so that the beans are tender and the water reduces. Then taste and adjust the spices as needed and let everything continue to cook, if necessary, until the desired tenderness is reached. Serve over rice or in a bowl with crunchy bread.