Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fried Chick Pea Sandwich + Blue Cheese & Tomato

In Sicily, they call these simple little chickpea fritters panelle, and they're typically served as street food on a bun with a scoop of ricotta. I thought it might be fun to take the idea out of Italy and bring it down South.
In this version, chickpeas stand in for fried chicken. The sandwich is dressed with spinach, tomato slices, blue cheese, and sliced shallot. This recipe below makes quite a few fritters, enough for about 6 sandwiches or more, which is a good thing considering they are quite addictive.
A little magic happens when these things begin to cook. The outside layer becomes craggy and crispy, the next layer is slightly chewy, and the center is creamy. They are so good that they're worth a few extra a calories. 
Fried Chickpea Sandwich
(serves four)

2 cups broth
2 cups chickpea flour
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups canola oil (for frying)
1/4 cup mayonnaise 
6 soft sesame buns
2 cups fresh spinach
6 tomato slices
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallot
4 ounces blue cheese (crumbled)
In a medium saucepan, add chickpea flour to cold broth and whisk. Gradually bring the mixture up to a low boil as you whisk. Once the mixture becomes thick, add the water and whisk some more. Allow mixture to cook, covered, on low for 10 minutes stirring occasionally so the bottom doesn’t scorch. In an olive-oil-coated 9x12 casserole pan, quickly spread the warm mixture evenly to the edges. Use a sheet of waxed paper to press the mixture into place. 
Once the mixture has cooled completely, turn it out onto a cutting board. Cut into two-inch squares and then cut each square in half to form triangles. Bring canola oil up to medium-high heat (350 degrees) in a sauce pan. Fry chickpea patties in batches if five for about five minutes a piece or until they pass golden brown and are more toasted brown in color. Sprinkle each with salt and pepper. 
To serve (immediately!): toast buns, spread with a teasppon of mayo, pile on 3-4 fritters, a handful of spinach, a slice of tomato, a few sliced shallots, and a little blue cheese. 


  1. I would like to do this one but can't for another week. I hope someone picks it up, but if not, I'll do it next Saturday!

  2. I just talked Justin's ear off about this recipe and how it turned out but I will recap here ;)

    I was shocked at how similar chickpea flour cooks to polenta. You have to really watch closely and stir-- it thickens up quickly and might burn if you are not on top of it. After it came to a low boil, I let it cook for five minutes longer and then it was getting crusty onvthe bottom so I took it off and put it in the greased casserole dish. I did not have waxed paper on hand, so I used an oiled back of a spoon to flatten the chickpea mixture. It worked well.

    I only had to let it cool for 15 minutes then I was able to cut into triangles easily. The frying part was simple and left a nice golden brown crust on each side.

    I served a little different--minus the sesame bun. I served as a appetizer with two tomatoes, two triangles of chickpea fritters, the crumbled bur cheese and shallot on top with a dollop of mayo on the side for dipping. It was super yummy and quite filling too. The tomatoes were tossed with a pinch of that applewood smoked salt that I love now.

    I would make the dish often maybe for a dinner party tapa. Took me only 20 minutes start to finish minus waiting time for the fritters to set in the casserole.


  3. Oh and I found one typo--teaspoon of mayo, teaspoon is misspelled ;)

  4. Sheesh, I forget I said I would do these.....Hopefully I can get them made Sunday the 19th!