Chickpeas, Provencal Style



  1. 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.
  2. Adjust the heat so the beans bubble and cover.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, then taste a chickpea to check for doneness.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. If at any point the beans they look dry, add enough water to keep them covered by 1 inch.
  7. While the beans cook, heat the oven to 400 F.
  8. Roughly tear or cut the bread into bite-sized pieces and spread them out on a baking sheet.
  9. Bake the bread, turning once, until it's lightly toasted, 10 to 15 minutes.
  10. It doesn't have to be warm when served, so just let it sit until serving time.
  11. Keep checking the chickpeas every 15 minutes.
  12. When they are fully tender and just starting to break apart, stir in the garlic and the olive oil; taste and adjust the seasoning.
  13. 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.