Crostino #1- Fresh Chickpeas with Smoked Paprika

Almost all foods are better served on toasted bread. Perhaps not ice cream, fruit or fried rice, but almost everything else. Crostini also give you the safety net so if a topping doesn’t work out, you can at least be happy that you got to eat some good bread. These crostini, however, work out very well and are a great way to use awesome seasonal foods.

I don’t think I had ever seen fresh chickpeas anywhere. Not even on TV. They come in little shells that are not hard to remove. I now recognize them and I look out for them because they are easy to make and apparently extremely good for you. I add some smoked paprika at the end which is a good spice to have around if you want to play with Spanish flavors in your cooking. I just dust them with the paprika at the end. What struck me most about these chickpeas was how pure their flavor seemed to be. Canned chickpeas often have lots of water in them and these do not. They were also picked a couple days before I used them.

I’d love to hear other folks’ favorite crostini and bruschetta recipes using local ingredients. The possibilities are endless and they can even serve as a light lunch or dinner with a salad. I’ll post another one in a few days.

Chickpea Crostini w/ Smoked Paprika

Farmers Market bill $3 / 2 servings = $1.50 per serving

Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil

Shell chickpeas and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until fairly tender (you’re going to cook them again so no need to cook them all the way through)

While chickpeas are simmering, drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat

Add one clove of chopped or pressed garlic and saute for 2 minutes

With a slotted spoon transfer chickpeas to skillet and increase heat to medium high and saute for 3 minutes

Toast 4 slices of crusty bread from a local bakery and drizzle the top with olive oil and a pinch of salt

Spoon chickpea mixture onto each slice and dust tops with smoked paprika

If you like this spicier, you could add some cayenne or chili flakes.

As you serve this, think of what kinds of crostini you might serve the next night and make a note of it.

One thought on “Crostino #1- Fresh Chickpeas with Smoked Paprika

  1. I had no idea you could buy fresh chickpeas! Did you find them at your farmer’s market? Have you ever seen them in a co-op or supermarket? I’d love to experiment with them.

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