Friday 17 June 2016

Hummus to meringues: the chickpea lifestyle

vegan, gluten-free
Recently I learnt that 2016 is the ‘year of the bean’. If I was to elect a representative of this small, round, yet international family – it would be the chickpea. Over the last few weeks I have, on multiple occasions, been amazed by its versatility; savoury pies, delicious meringues and impressive flatbreads! 

This has inspired me to post a chickpea-based recipe once a week for at least the next 5 weeks - maybe more if I make new discoveries. The first page of this Chickpea chapter will feature hummus and farinata; a well-known Italian style snack. Everyone knows what hummus is, but not many people seem to know how to make it. It's simple yet delicious.

Firstly though, some context. Let me introduce you. These beige, spherical pulses grow in warm climates such India, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Depending on their form and which country you are in Chickpeas can have any of the following names: Besan, Gabanzo, Gram Flour or Aqua Faba. Nutritionally speaking, the Chickpea contains:
- 15g protein per cooked cup,
- half daily recommendation of manganese
and quarter of daily recommendation of folate, iron and vitamin E
Eating them will help to provide fuel for muscle and bone growth and repair (protein), processing cholesterol and fuelling metabolism (manganese), promotes the breakdown and use of protein and help to form red and white blood cells (folate), continue to support you bodies ability to carry oxygen through the bloodstream (iron), help to maintain healthy skin and eyes as well as strengthening the immune system (Vitamin E).

Indirect benefits of eating chickpeas, is that they aren’t a dead animal. Eating a plant-based diet is better for the environment and animal welfare. Yes, I’m Vegan.

So now you are familiar, let’s cook. Then eat. And pretend we have travelled to Genoa.

Farinata & Hummus

As my partner likes to say, this course is Chickpea ‘Inception’ – Chickpeas dipped in Chickpeas. Farinata is an Italian flatbread, fried liked a pancake, made from Chickpea flour. I have included a basic recipe for Hummus so you can adjust it according to match the seasoning you choose for your Farinata.

Farinata, serves 4:
300ml water
150g gram flour
15g fresh, sprigged Rosemary or 1 tbsp ground cumin
Pinch of salt, pepper
olive oil

Chop the Rosemary finely. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. The batter is now ready to be fried like a pancake on low-medium heat. However, if you leave it out to ferment overnight or longer the batter will become thicker, in turn making an airier and spongier flatbread.

Hummus, serves 4:
Juice of 1 lemon
400g tin of cooked chickpeas, drained
1 large garlic clove,
5 tbsp. olive oil
1 ½ tbsp. tahini

Crush and finely chop the garlic to a paste, mixing in 1 tsp. salt to help soften it and bring the juice out. Blitz everything in a blender, serve in a small bowl.

No comments:

Post a Comment