I came up with the idea for this the other day when a pickled beet I’d put in one of my salads dyed a random chickpea a pretty pink hue. Of course, being obsessed with chickpeas and pickles alike, I started thinking, well, hmm…maybe I can pickle chickpeas and also make them pink in the process? Thus the Pink Pickled Chickpeas, or chickpinks, were born and a whole meal was composed around them.
These chickpeas are zesty, herby and best of all, fun, great to use in a pita or in a bowl with other Middle Eastern-inspired prepared ingredients (Falafel! Couscous! Baba ganoush! Tabbouleh! Olives! Pickled onions!) or just to add a little pink, piquant liveliness to a salad. It is also a thrifty, easy and quick to make recipe, though it will take a day for the pinking up of the chickpeas.
1¼ cup red wine vinegar 1¼ cup water 3 teaspoons minced or smashed garlic 3 tablespoons natural vegan sugar (like turbinado) 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns 1 teaspoon whole coriander 1 teaspoon fennel seeds ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper 30-ounces chickpeas, canned or cooked at home, rinsed and drained ½ cup peeled beets (about ½ of one small beet), cut into large pieces 1 - 2 bay leaves
Bring all the ingredients up to the chickpeas to a boil in a medium pan. Place the drained chickpeas in a sanitized canning jar with a ring and lid. Place the beets and bay leaf over on top.
Allow the brine to come to a boil, lower the temperature to a simmer and cover. Allow to simmer for five minutes.
Carefully pour the pickling brine over the chickpeas. (A canning funnel makes this safe and easy.) Secure with the top and let stand on the counter for one hour. Move to the refrigerator and leave for at least 24-hours in the refrigerator. Shake/swirl the jar a few times while it’s chilling to distribute the brine. Remove the beets and bay leaves and enjoy.
This can remain in a sealed container with liquid in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.