Don’t be intimidated by the name of this recipe! A translation could be as simple as chickpea (garbanzo bean) dip. In addition, the recipe is extremely simple to prepare, and poischichade makes a nice complement to other summer spreads like hummus, guacamole and salsas. Indeed, in some respects, poischichade is made by subtracting tahini from hummus.
This recipe comes from page 231 in Country Cooking in France by Anne Willan (2007). This cookbook is also a coffee table enhancer. The pictures alone are well worth the price, but the narration is priceless. Ms. Willan does an excellent job of explaining not just the how, but the where and why of French country cooking.
We have experimented with several variations on this recipe. Using Anaheim peppers in place of bell pepper gives the recipe a little more kick, and you can substitute any color pepper for the red called for here. We have used one can of Great Northern beans in place of one of the cans of chickpeas, too. The result is slightly less calories, and the texture is a bit smoother. We routinely use half the olive oil called for here. Finally, Spanish smoked paprika has the best flavor for this dip.
1 large red bell pepper
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp olive oil, more if needed
Paprika, for sprinkling
To peel the pepper, heat the broiler. Broil the pepper about 3 inches from the heat, turning the pepper once or twice, until the skin is blistered and black. Wrap the pepper loosely in plastic wrap and let cool for 5 minutes. Unwrap and then peel it and discard the core and seeds. Cut the flesh into pieces.
Combine the pepper pieces, chickpeas, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and oil in a food processor. Purée until smooth, adding more oil if necessary to make a firm yet moist paste. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pile the poischichade in a bowl, sprinkle with the paprika, and serve.
Poischichade also keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least a week.