Inspired by a recipe for a warm panzanella salad with tomatoes recipe in Daniel Humm and Will Guidara's I Love New York, this recipe replaces the bread with chickpeas and adds feta (then adds back olive oil-crisped bread on the side).
You need juicy tomatoes here to create a broth, which is why heirloom is suggested, but feel free to add a handful of cherry tomatoes to the mix, too—the different colors and shapes make it pretty/potentially more appetizing. Totally optional.
I like the brine-soaking method for cooking beans/legumes, but feel free to cook your chickpeas however you like. —Alexandra Stafford
Cooking the chickpeas
plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Few sprigs thyme
Half an onion
Stewy chickpeas with tomatoes
extra-virgin olive oil
cloves garlic, peeled, and smashed
diced red onion
diced heirloom tomatoes (see notes above)
vinegar, white balsamic or red wine or whatever you have on hand
basil (about a cup of leaves), roughly chopped
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, and freshly cracked pepper to taste
Dissolve the 3 tablespoons of salt into a large bowl of water (your largest mixing bowl, or about 4 quarts water). Add the chickpeas and soak for 8 to 24 hours. Drain, and place in a pot with the onion, thyme, and remaining teaspoon of salt. Cover with water by three inches. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cook at the gentlest simmer for about an hour or until the chickpeas are cooked through. Let chickpeas cool in their cooking liquid. Discard thyme sprigs, and onion. Store chickpeas in their cooking liquid.
In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the 4 cups cooked chickpeas and 1 teaspoon sea salt and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until heated through.
Lower the heat to medium-low, add the red onion and cook for 1 more minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 more minute or until they begin to break down. Add the vinegar, capers, and basil, and toss to coat. Season with pepper to taste. Turn off the heat. Crumble the feta over top and toss to coat. Taste, and add more salt, pepper, capers, or feta to taste.