I saw this recipe in the old Dried Beans and Grain book from the the seminal Good Cook series by Richard Olney with Jeremiah Towers, among others. It seemed a little strange and forgotten and that’s very appealing to me. And it used two cups of cooked garbanzos. I love garbanzos but when I cook a pot, sometimes it seems like too much of a good thing. I love hummus. I love Caldo Tlapeño. But what do you do with that last bit?
The recipe has you process the beans in a food mill or food processor. I love my food mill so I used it, in conjunction with my bean masher. When I served this to the family, one of the comments was how great the texture was. If you can, I would avoid the processor and go manual.
The original recipe calls for pine nuts but they’re so expensive and I had black walnuts already toasted, so I used them. The original also suggests serving with corn tortilla chips. I don’t understand this at all. I used good crackers.
I’ve found very few references to Cecilina. I doubt an Italian who knows this dish would recognize it as cecilina, but if you know anything about it, I’d love to hear.
Adapted from a recipe in Dried Beans and Grains (Time/Life Books, 1980) from a recipe by Alex D. Hawkes, A World of Vegetable Cookery (Simon and Schuster, 1968)
2 cups cooked Rancho Gordo Garbanzo beans (also known as Ceci or chickpeas), drained
3 tablespoons butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons toasted black walnuts, coarsely chopped (or pine nuts)
1 teaspoon Rancho Gordo Oregano Indio
salt, pepper to taste
Rancho Gordo Rio Fuego or other hot sauce, to taste
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Pass the garbanzos through a food mill. Use a bean masher to get rid of any unmashed beans. Or briefly puree in a food processor. Try and keep some texture.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat for about five minutes, until the onion starts to become translucent. Mix the onions with the garbanzos, the parsley, the nuts, the oregano and a few dashes of the hot sauce. Chill until serving, at least 30 minutes.
Put the mixture in a serving bowl and sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top.
Serve with crackers or flatbreads.