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In the Kitchen With: Nicole Taylor’s Rice and Harissa Chickpeas

by Kristina Gill

This week’s recipe for Carolina Gold Rice and Harissa Chickpeas is a simple but great dish from one of my favorite radio hosts, Nicole Taylor. You may already know Nicole as the host of Hot Grease on Heritage Radio Network, a program that highlights rising leaders in the good food world, from chefs to bloggers to urban gardeners.  But if you don’t, you really should take the time to listen. I experience exciting developments in the US food scene vicariously through podcasts, and I rely on really good ones like Nicole’s. I take notes so that when I go home a few times a year, I can try new things. If you have a favorite food podcast that is engaging and provides quality coverage to food-scene newcomers and an intelligent discourse on topical issues in food, recommend it below, and I’ll check it out! (I’m interested in anything from anywhere in the world but can only follow in Spanish, German, English or Italian.) — Kristina

About Nicole: Georgia native Nicole A. Taylor has been an artisan candy maker, an activist and a social media maven and is currently the host of Hot Grease, a progressive food culture radio program on Heritage Radio Network in which the American South and your local food intersect. A member of Food Systems Network NYC, Southern Foodways Alliance, NOFA-NY and Black Urban Growers (BUGs), Nicole is also a frequent panelist at New York City food events. Nicole worked as a community outreach consultant for the Brooklyn Food Coalition, raised funds for the Urban Justice Center through the Vendy Awards and is now an instructor for a GED and internship program that weaves in urban farming. She is featured in America I AM: Pass It Down Cookbook and is a principal at NAT Media.  You can read Nicole’s food writing at Food Culturist or follow her on Twitter @foodculturist.

See Nicole’s recipe after the jump . . .

Carolina Gold Rice & Harissa Chickpeas
Serves 8

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium white onions
  • 3 teaspoons dry harissa (1 teaspoon for garnish)
  • 5 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups Carolina Gold Rice (or any high-quality rice)
  • 8 dollops of yogurt
  • handful of flat leaf parsley for garnish
  • sea salt
  • fresh cracked pepper



1. Place chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with water. Let sit overnight. Drain chickpeas.

2. Heat a medium to large pot over medium heat. Pour in olive oil. Put roughly chopped onions in pot. Liberally salt and pepper onions. Cook until the onions are slightly brown. Remove onions from pot and set aside.

3. After removing the onions, place chickpeas in the pot and sprinkle with harissa. Pour in 4 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce to low heat and stir occasionally.

4. Add the remaining stock halfway through cooking time. When done, the chickpeas should be slightly firm.

5. Stir in browned onions and juice of lemon. Turn heat off.

6. During two-hour cooking time, make 8 cups of Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice.

7. To plate, place a serving of chickpeas on a cup of rice. Dollop with yogurt (I prefer full fat or Greek) and garnish with a pinch of harissa and chopped parsley.

Note from Kristina: I used harissa paste when preparing the chickpeas in these photos and a lot of it because I like my food spicy!

Why Nicole Loves This Recipe

I wear my southerness on my sleeves. Family and friends often comment that New York is a perfect city for me — rapid adventure and full of culture. Despite my constant restaurant exploring and cooking firsts, my taste buds always gravitate towards elements that take me to Dixie. This recipe gives a nod to home.

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  • Nicole, I know exactly what you mean. I live in Buffalo but am from Virginia. I am very happy here but will change direction instantly at the sound of a southern voice in a crowd, will order a fried chicken dinner in a heartbeat (I did last night but the “buttermilk biscuit” wasn’t up to snuff), and while the drier climate of the north works for my hair, sometimes the feel of humidity on my cheek can bring tears to my eyes. I’ll cook up a mess of these chickpeas and rice very soon.

  • I had to google Harissa — this recipe sounds intriguing! I think it could easily be veganized too. I’ll be trying this soon – my husband has Southern roots and always enjoys some good food.

  • Thanks for mentioning Carolina Gold Rice by name! It’s so exciting to see it here.
    I used to work with one of the farmers that helped save seed for that crop in Charleston, SC. For anyone that’s interested, you can order Carolina Gold (and other southern heirloom grains) from Anson Mills: http://ansonmills.com

  • Yay Nicole! I’m such a fan of her and her radio show, and I think this recipe sounds like a good switch from the Mujaddara (lentils and rice) I’ve been eating all winter.

  • can you recomend a good harissa?…id love a good source.Cant wait to make these! thanks!

  • I don’t listen to many podcasts, but I love KCRW’s Good Food. It has a few LA-specific things which aren’t usually relevant to me, but there’s a ton of other interesting food-related stuff in every episode.

  • This gives me a new recipe for chick peas. I love chick peas they are a good high protein alternative to meat. Thank you for sharing I can’t wait to taste it

  • I make this exact recipe every year for thanksgiving for the last 4 years. Thank you for giving us a new family tradition to look forward to.