I have been looking forward to making this since I saw the recipe on TheKitchn. Zak has not been looking forward to it – when I listed off the meals I had planned ahead for this week, he wrinkled his nose and was obviously unenthusiastic. That’s okay, though. Sometimes the chef just needs to make one for the chef, and I’m very fortunate to have a fiancé who – despite his lack of enthusiasm – tells me to forge ahead and make what I want to make, then eats it without complaints.
I love me a good casserole, but don’t make them often because they tend to be laden with processed, high-sodium, high-fat, high-cholesterol ingredients like cream-of-whatever soups and ground beef and globs of cheese. This casserole, on the other hand, was comparatively light and and healthy. I enjoyed it a lot – it had that creamy, cheesy goodness that I love without the usual bad guys that come with it. Even Zak told me he enjoyed it, despite his initial lack of enthusiasm.
Chickpea Casserole with Lemon, Herbs and Shallots
Adapted from TheKitchn.com
1 15 oz can. chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
1 medium shallot, minced
3-4 cloves roasted garlic (see instructions under “Caramelized Chipotle-Garlic Roast Chicken”)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped, plus a little more for garnish
1 tbs. fresh rosemary (leaves only), roughly chopped, plus a little more for garnish
1 tbs. fresh thyme (leaves only), roughly chopped, plus a little more for garnish
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded, divided
1/4 cup Japenese-style panko bread crumbs
Non-stick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 375°.
Spray a small casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, rice, shallots, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, rosemary, and crushed red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a small bowl, mix together beaten egg, cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt, and half of Parmesan cheese. Gently fold egg and cottage cheese mixture into the chickpea and herb mixture.
Mix together panko bread crumbs and remaining Parmesan cheese.
Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish and spread evenly. Top with panko-Parmesan cheese mixture. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake 45 minutes until bubbling and golden. Let stand ten minutes before serving. Garnish with a bit of parsley, rosemary, and thyme.