Revitháda - slow baked chick peas stew with tomato and oregano
Aug 27, 2013
In Aegean islands like Sifnos and Kalimnos chick pea stews are a favorite dish all year long. Housewives there place their chick peas (revithia in Greek) in clay cooking pots specially made from local ceramists and bring them to the village bakery shop late in the afternoon where the stews are slow cooked overnight in the oven that is still hot from baking bread.
Slow baking is what makes chick peas really tender, so tasty, and easy to digest. I remember a friend who visited the island of Milos telling me of the cooking method a tavern there was using for their chick peas. Milos is a volcanic island and there are hot springs as well as areas where the ground itself is still very hot. There, by the beach, a local tavern owner had dig a deep hole in the hot volcanic soil and in it had placed a few clay pots with his chick pea specialty and left them to cook naturally for several hours. Amazing!
You don’t need a special clay pot or even a volcano to make delicious chick peas at home, - just a heat proof casserole dish, an oven, and a little patience. It is simple and worth trying.
Revitháda ( serves 6)
500gr dry chick peas
1 red onion chopped
150gr olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ripe tomato cut in 6 rings
1tsp dry oregano
Boiling water- about 1litre
Soak the dry chick peas overnight in 1,5litre of cold water.
Preheat the oven to 170 C.
Strain the chick peas in a colander, and rinse them under running water. Set them aside.
In a heat proof casserole dish (clay or metal) sprinkle the chopped onion and drizzle with half of the oil. Add the chick peas and arrange the tomato rings over them. Now add as much boiling water as needed just to cover the chick peas but not the tomato rings. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil, season with oregano, salt and pepper, and place the casserole, covered with the lid, in the oven. Cook for 3 hours.
Serve Revitháda , warm or at room temperature, placing one tomato ring for every serving; season with lemon juice.