Achiote Seared Chickpeas with Goat Cheese

Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, Austin

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons achiote paste
1 small yellow onion, 1 inch dice
2 Roma tomatoes, 1 inch dice
2 cups cooked chickpeas
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons dark chili powder
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
1 cup fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup fresh goat cheese, crumbled
juice of 1 lemon

Heat olive oil and achiote over medium low heat in a small sauce pan for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring. Remove from heat and allow achiote to steep in the hot oil for another 5 minutes. Strain achiote oil, discarding remaining solids.

Add 2 tablespoons of achiote oil to a preheated large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until it begins to brown and soften, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato and continue cooking until the tomato just begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Remove the onions and tomatoes from the sauté pan, holding to add back to the chickpeas.

Return the sauté pan to high heat, and add 1/4 cup achiote oil. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the chickpeas and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until heated through and chickpeas begin to brown. Season with salt, pepper, chili powder, and oregano, stirring to coat the chickpeas. Add the onion, tomato, spinach, and goat cheese back to the pan and cook until heated through and the goat cheese just begins to melt.

Finish the chickpeas by adding the juice of 1 lemon. Serve with grilled pita points. Serves 6.

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