This is a different and tasty method of enjoying the goodness of one of the world’s healthiest foods, chickpeas. In addition to being a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and Vitamin B-6, chickpeas are also high in protein providing 2.4 grams protein per tablespoon. Serve this vegan delight as an appetizer or as an entrée.
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil – divided
1 cup onion (chopped)
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups chickpea flour
½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (chopped)
2 cups baby spinach
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces baby arugula
¼ cup blood orange olive oil
2 tablespoons Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar
¼ teaspoon agave nectar
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent – about 7 minutes. Add broth and heat until simmering. Sprinkle in chickpea flour, cumin, and yeast. Whisk until smooth.
Transfer chickpea mixture to a food processor and purée. Add thyme, spinach, and salt and blend until smooth. This mixture will be thick but try not to add additional liquid, as that will affect the ultimate texture of the fried triangles. Pour into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on top and use your hand to level mixture. Chill for 2 hours.
Remove chickpea mixture from refrigerator and invert onto a cutting board. Cut into 12 squares, then cut each square again diagonally to make 24 triangles. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown triangles, turning once, 8 minutes total (add additional oil if needed). Let triangles drain on paper towels while making salad.
Place arugula in salad bowl. Combine blood orange olive oil, vinegar, and honey in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Pour half of the orange dressing on the arugula and toss to thoroughly coat arugula leaves.
Place 4 chickpea triangles on each plate and top with arugula salad. Serve remaining orange dressing in a small bowl at the table.
Note: This recipe serves four to six people. It is easily halved to provide dinner for two.