Because I lived in Spain for a year after college as an au pair, I have a soft spot in my heart (and stomach) for Spanish food. It's flavorful, fresh, and often inexpensive. The other night I made a tortilla española (a Spanish omelet), and because of its rusticity and simplicity, I like to pair it with a flavorful but simple side. Normally, I like to make a gazpacho to go with it, but this time I was low on tomatoes, so made this dish. It comes together in about 10-15 minutes and tastes great at room temperature. You can even make it ahead and keep it in the fridge, but make sure to warm it up a little to get those oils flowing again!
Spanish chorizo is a cured, hard sausage. I buy it at a local liquor store that happens to carry a lot of imported foods. If you can't find it, I'm sure you could improvise with another hard, strongly flavored sausage. (But don't use the uncooked Mexican version of chorizo!)
Warm Chickpeas and Chorizo
Serves 4 as a small side dish
1 Tbl olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp paprika (Spanish if you have it)
1/2 cup Spanish chorizo, halved lengthwise and sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbl roughly chopped parsley
Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onions and sauté until softened. Add the chickpeas, garlic and paprika and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes. Add the chorizo and sauté for another five minute, stirring occasionally. Taste and add salt and pepper to season. Add chopped parsley and stir. Serve warm.