Chickpeas, Provencal Style
- 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas, rinsed and picked over
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 thick slices French or Italian bread
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish
- Put the chickpeas in a large, deep pot and add enough water to cover them by 3 inches; bring to a boil over high heat.
- Adjust the heat so the beans bubble and cover.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, then taste a chickpea to check for doneness.
- If the chickpeas have begun to soften, add a large pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper; if they are still hard, return the lid to the pot, keep cooking, and check them every 10 or 15 minutes until it's time to add the salt.
- Continue cooking, checking and stirring every 15 minutes, until the chickpeas are tender but still intact, anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes after you've added the salt.
- If at any point the beans they look dry, add enough water to keep them covered by 1 inch.
- While the beans cook, heat the oven to 400 F.
- Roughly tear or cut the bread into bite-sized pieces and spread them out on a baking sheet.
- Bake the bread, turning once, until it's lightly toasted, 10 to 15 minutes.
- It doesn't have to be warm when served, so just let it sit until serving time.
- Keep checking the chickpeas every 15 minutes.
- When they are fully tender and just starting to break apart, stir in the garlic and the olive oil; taste and adjust the seasoning.
- To serve, put the bread in bowls and spoon in the beans and some of the cooking liquid; drizzle with 1 tablespoon more olive oil and garnish with the parsley.