On Saturday evenings, women on Sifnos and other Cycladic islands bring to the communal bakery their specially marked clay casseroles filled with soaked chickpeas that have been doused in fruity olive oil and seasoned with oregano or bay leaves, and with bitter orange in Crete.
Covered, and often sealed with a piece of dough, the casseroles are set in the wood-burning oven, where they cook slowly all night in the receding oven heat. On Sunday morning, as the women return to their homes from church, they collect the pots and serve the tender, fragrant chickpeas for lunch, accompanied by olives and/or salted sardines and crusty bread to soak up the delicious juices. This recipe, like the one with Squash, cannot be made with canned chickpeas, but you can precook and freeze chickpeas to make a faster version (see Note 2).
This recipe is a variation of the classic revithada, loosely based on the chickpeas Kalomira Vrondamiti used to serve at her tavern, on the picturesque Vourkari marina, in Kea.