This may not be the prettiest plate composition I’ve ever put together, but the flavors and textures of these chickpea and zucchini cakes topped with a cauliflower and beet salad more than make up for it.
Whenever I buy dried chickpeas, I always seem to go overboard. Forgetting that the beans seemingly double in size after being soaked, I end up with more than I bargained for. But I know if I cook them up, all together, I’ll find a way to use them. This was just the case yesterday as I was thinking of ways to work with the chickpeas without repeating some of the meal types I’ve posted recently. That meant a stew or a simple salad wouldn’t do the job.
What about chickpea cakes? Hmmm…with a little research online I found quite a few recipes suggesting the use of chickpea flour to create almost pancake like goodies. But I wanted something with more substance and hell, I had all those damn chickpeas ready to go. I wasn’t sure how this would turn out but the process proved to be not only simple, but really spot on.
In a food processor, I pureed what I believe was an equivalent to a can of chickpeas (sorry for the lack of direct measuring). I added a tbsp of olive oil to get the thing going but that was it. You end up with an almost smooth chickpea mash that is a few steps a way from being a delicious hummus. But that’s where zucchini comes into play. Shredded zucchini is packed with moisture which is why it makes a perfect addition to breads, and also a major challenge for making zucchini cakes. Flour is often used to help bind zucchini in these types of applications but I was set on making these cakes without any wheat. So how would the somewhat dry “chickpea batter” do as a stand in for the flour…really damn well in fact!
I also added some quickly sautéed corn to the one shredded zucchini because I’ve grown to love that fantastic flavor combination. After a good seasoning with salt, pepper, and a tbsp or so of curry powder, I formed some patties and got to pan searing. I find a med/high heat to start is ideal but at some point it will be good to lower the heat a bit. Nothing here needs to be cooked. Remember, all this recipe includes is chickpeas, zucchini, and corn, but the ideal cake will have a crispy outside and a warm and creamy center.
Sure the roasted cauliflower and beet salad was a good topping with a few more crunchy chickpeas, but you could put just about anything on top of these chickpea cakes and you’ll be happy. We were thinking skirt steak and blue cheese wouldn’t be too shabby for next time…