Chickpea Crostini #vegan

I’m on a bit of a toast kick lately. I’m not exactly sure why… there isn’t really a specific toast incident that turned me on to toast.

Vegan Chickpea Crostini

I mean, I’ve always been a fan. I often start my day with toast slathered in peanut butter. But the kind of toast I’m talking about today is not nearly so pedestrian. It goes beyond the every day.

It all started with avocado toast. Beautiful, toasted slices of artisan bread, artfully draped with fresh, ripened avocados. It’s heaven. It really is. Avotoast can be done a myriad of different ways, but the simple avocado/toast/olive oil/salt & pepper combo (I’m a purist) still remains my fave.

For about 5 minutes last year, sweet potato toast was a thing, with slices of sweet potato replacing the more carb-heavy bread. Meh. I was never the greatest fan.

Most recently Unicorn or Rainbow toast has taken the Instagram world by storm. Basically, you tint spreadable cream cheeses with food colouring, and then swirl it all on toast. It’s very pretty and quite instagrammable, but I don’t think I’d eat it.

I recently saw a post about Galaxy Toast–that stuff is pretty trippy to be sure.

But you don’t need to be creating rainbows or galaxies to make things on toast.

Nope.

Enter the humble chickpea. Warm it, flavor it, and mash it onto some nice crusty bread, and you have a winner. You could serve this alongside a salad for a nice, light lunch, or with soup for a heartier one. Or, you can just eat it any time for a snack.

chickpea crostini

Chickpea Crostini

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled and smashed but left whole
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sprinkle hot pepper flakes (optional)
  • fresh, crusty baugette or french bread

Method

  1. Slice the baugette into 1″ slices, and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil, and place in a 300 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted.
  2. Meanwhile, in a frying pan on the stove over medium heat, drizzle about 2 tbsp of olive oil. Allow to heat, then add the cloves of garlic. Stir well and allow to begin to cook, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chickpeas and stir well. Add the cumin, pepper flakes if using, salt and pepper and stir again. Chop about 1 tbsp of the rosemary and add it as well. Allow to cook for another 5-10 minutes, until everything is softening and melding together, adding additional olive oil if needed to keep from sticking to the pan.
  4. Using a potato masher, mash everything up together coarsely. You don’t want hummus, you want there to be lots of nice chunks.
  5. Spread large globs of the warm chickpea mixture on the toasts. Place on plates and drizzle with additional olive oil and garnish with sprigs of rosemary to serve.

March 20: Macaron Day

If there was ever a food item that deserved to have its own day, the macaron is it.

I put macarons in the same category as many other complex French desserts. That list includes Creme Brulee, Souffle, anything with puff pastry and croissants. It’s my goal to take a trip to Paris this summer, and that’s all I want to eat.

kitchening & co macarons

I’m a pretty big home baker. I mostly make the baked goods that we consume; cake, cookies, brownies and bars. But macarons… never. Until this past summer.

A couple years back, obsessed with the light cookie sandwich, I took a macaron-making class. I was determined to learn how to make them. All that class taught me was that they are the most fussy, complicated things I’ve ever made in my entire life, and I never made them again.

But then I started writing my cookbook, and I was determined to include a recipe for macarons in it. It would be the crowning glory of the book. I attempted that recipe no less than 50 times before I finally had something I was happy with, and I nearly gave up about 40 of those times.

kitchening & co macarons 2

So I have a new appreciation for the French Macaron this year as March 20 rolls around.

If you are new to this little delight, let me give you the rundown. First off, the cookies are light and crisp on the outside, but chewy on the inside. They are gluten-free, made with a mixture of almond meal, sugar and whipped egg whites. They have the most adorable ruffly little “feet” which give them their distinctive look. Two of them get sandwiched together with buttercream to create the final cookie.

They are delicate, light, fragile and really tasty. And they can come in any variety of flavors.

macarons kitchening & co

Where can you get yours? There’s a variety of different patisseries around the city that sell them, but these particular macarons are from Kitchening & Co out of Abbotsford. You can buy them at any Urban Fare, Choices Markets, Edible Canada and Fresh Street Markets. Click here for the full list of locations. The Espresso with Dark Chocolate Ganache one was, not shockingly, my favorite.

Join me in celebrating the macaron on March 20!

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