I like chickpeas. A lot. I like them in all forms. Hummus is actually one of my major food groups and I start to get a little twitchy if my supply runs low. I reprimanded my husband once for eating too much hummus with his chips. I don't think he's eaten hummus since. I'm pretty protective of my food, apparently. Must work on that.
When I saw this recipe in Sunset Magazine I was like, Yay! A different way to eat garbanzo beans! and I made the dish immediately. I loved it. My husband loved it, too. And it made a ton of cakes so he could eat as many as he wanted without being reprimanded. The next day I reheated the cakes and served them with salad and raspberry-lemon vinaigrette. I liked it; he did not. I don't think he even tried the raspberry salad. He doesn't like fruit mixed into his savory dishes so I didn't have to share any with him. Except I couldn't finish it all myself so I had to throw half of it away. That'll learn me.
The original recipe for the chickpea cake calls for nutritional yeast and though I love the taste of nutritional yeast, I can't eat it. It gives me a super bad headache. I recently found out that it's high in naturally occurring glutamates — kind of like a healthier form of MSG — and if my body even gets the faintest whiff of MSG in the room, it runs for the hills. I thought it tasted pretty good without it, though.
Chickpea Cake with Baby Greens and Shallots
Adapted from Sunset Magazine Best Recipes 2012
About 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped onion
1 qt. reduced-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups chickpea (garbanzo) flour
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 cups lightly packed fresh spinach
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
2 or 3 cups lightly packed baby greens
1/8 cup thinly sliced shallots
3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice from one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Make chickpea cake: Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large, wide pot over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring often, until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add broth and heat until simmering. Sprinkle in chickpea flour, whisking until smooth.
Purée with an immersion blender until as smooth as baby food (or put in a blender or food processor). Stir in thyme, spinach, and salt. Pour into a oiled 9 x 13 in. baking dish. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on top and use your hand to level mixture. Chill until cold, at least 1-1/2 hours and up to 2 days.
Invert cake onto a cutting board. Cut into 12 squares, then cut each square again diagonally to make 24 triangles.
Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown triangles, turning once, 8 minutes total; add oil as needed. Set on 6 plates (or keep warm in oven).
Make salad: Mix oil, lemon juice, shallots, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Toss with greens. Spoon salad over chickpea triangles and serve remaining dressing on the side.
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice from two lemons (or a 3-to-1 ratio of oil to lemon juice)
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1 teaspoon brown rice syrup
Salt and pepper to taste
Blend ingredients together in a bowl. Add a little water if the consistency is too thick and add more brown rice syrup if the raspberries and lemon juice are too tart.