Adapted from Herbivoracious by Michael Natkin
These little chickpea cakes are versatile; you can serve them as an appetizer, a side dish on an entree plate, or as the protein-packed star of the show. They are somewhat like a pan-fried falafel, but without the benefit of a deep-fried crust, so we amp up the internal flavoring. Try them with Tomato Jam with Rosemary and Saffron* for a big flavor combination.
The basic recipe is vegetarian. You could use an egg-replacer if you’d like it to be vegan, and gluten–free breadcrumbs and alternative flour if you want it to be gluten–free.
I also think it would be good with the ratio of breadcrumbs to flour reversed, for a lighter consistency, but I haven’t tried it.
3 cups cooked chickpeas or two 15 oz. cans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup green onions, very thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon minced rosemary leaves
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup homemade breadcrumbs
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
Oil for shallow frying
Sea salt (ideally Maldon or fleur de sel) for finishing
Combine the chickpeas, green onion, garlic, rosemary, kosher salt, lemon zest and juice, egg, flour, bread crumbs, and sesame seeds in a food processor and buzz until you have a fairly uniform mixture, but before it is completely pureed. We want some texture left. You should be able to form it into a ball that holds its shape. It should be neither crumbly nor a batter. Add liquid or breadcrumbs as necessary to find the right moisture level.
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, over a medium-high flame. Take a golf-ball sized piece of dough, press it in your hands into a flattened 3-inch patty and place in the skillet. Repeat with as many as will fit comfortably. Fry on one side until golden brown, about 3 minutes, then flip and brown the other side, about 2 more minutes. Remove to paper towels and continue frying the patties, adding more oil as necessary. Serve hot, sprinkled with a bit of sea salt.
Yield: Makes 16 small fritters
*Tomato Jam With Rosemary and Saffron
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored, peeled and diced
1/2 cup white onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves, very finely chopped
3/4 cup sugar (you could also try a little less)
3/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of chili flakes
Pinch of saffron, crumbled
A few grind of black pepper
Combine the tomatoes,onions, lemon juice, rosemary, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Season with a pinch of hot red pepper flakes, a pinch of crumbled saffron, and a few grinds of black pepper. Bring to a simmer. (Plenty of liquid will come out of the tomatoes, so you don't need to add any water.) Adjust the heat and simmer until thick and syrupy, about 1 hour. Taste and adjust the seasonings. You can serve this right away, or keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It tastes best at room temperature.
Makes about 2 cups
Recipes: Vegetarian, Fritters, Tomato Jam, Parve, Kosher