Always called the meat of the poor, the chickpeas hide unexpected healthy properties: they help lower bad cholesterol, prevent hypertension, as well as promote protein and lipid metabolism. In short, we should never let them miss our tables
Chickpeas have a high protein content and energy properties that make them the most common legumes after beans. Present in the traditional kitchens of many regions, they are rich in fiber, carbohydrates and unsaturated fats that help the functionality of the cardiovascular system. They supply magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus and folic acid and are a good source of B and C vitamins.
They are available all year, both in dry and in box versions and can be black, green and brown. They lend themselves to many preparations: in the south they are mainly used in soups, soups or to season pasta. In Liguria, the use of chickpea flour is widespread, for the preparation of the famous farinata.
Here are some of our suggestions for preparing them.
Teasing little glass
This is the recipe for an Apulian dish that can become a tasty appetizer. It is a preparation that requires some time, but the result is assured.
You have to mix about 60 g of durum wheat flour with the same quantity of whole wheat flour, water, and then wrap the dough in a sheet of transparent paper and let it rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Meanwhile wash and cut into cubes a heart of celery, a ripe tomato to which you have removed the seeds and the skin, 2 onions and fresh chilli. Separately whisk 300 g of boiled chickpeas, season with oil, salt and freshly ground white pepper. If you want to obtain a more homogeneous result, pass the cream through a sieve.
At this point, roll out the previously prepared pasta and cut it into strips as wide as noodles and a finger long. Fry in plenty of peanut oil and then dry with absorbent paper.
Prepare the glasses: on the bottom place the tomato, celery and spring onion salad seasoned with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, wine vinegar and a pinch of salt. Pour the chickpea cream over it and garnish with the freshly fried dough sticks and a few parsley leaves.
Quinoa, chickpea and ginger salad
Fresh salad, fast and very nutritious. Boil the quinoa in salted water. When it is ready, drain it and place it in a bowl, adding a pinch of olive oil. Add 200 g of boiled chickpeas, a few halved cherry tomatoes, stoned taggiasche olives, minced mint, an untreated lemon rind and fresh grated ginger. Season with salt and oil and serve.
Chickpea cold cream with fried vegetables
For this recipe you can use canned chickpeas. Blend them after draining them with oil, salt, pepper and enough water so that the result is a velvety cream but not too thick. Apart from cleaning a carrot, an eggplant and an onion, red or white does not matter. Reduce the vegetables in sticks and dip them in a batter that you have obtained by mixing 100 g of rice flour with 140 g of water. Plunge the vegetables in plenty of boiling peanut oil, brown them and then drain them when the batter becomes crisp. Dry them on kitchen paper. Serve the chickpea cream with the vegetables still warm and crunchy.
A more delicate version requires the addition of flambéed scampi and some rosemary needles to the cream.
Codfish pie in chickpea sauce
For this dish you will need small baking molds. Start with the preparation of the confit tomatoes: cut 20 small tomatoes in half and arrange them with the cut side up, in an oven dish. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and sugar and cook in the oven at 100 ° for an hour and a half.
Meanwhile, boil 100 g of chickpeas which you will then blend. In the meantime work for a few minutes with a fork 300 g of cow's milk ricotta, roll out a small amount in each well-oiled mold and at the bottom you will have minced some fennel leaves. Put the molds in the oven at 200 ° for 10 minutes.
Boil the cod, drain it, dry it and make small pieces seasoned with extra virgin olive oil.
Decorate the dishes with the chickpea sauce, the ricotta pie and above the cod garnished with tomato confit and untreated lemon zest.
Sautéed chickpeas, garlic crumble, walnuts and raw porcini mushrooms
Excellent autumn appetizer. Fry about 300g of boiled chickpeas with a drizzle of oil and two or three cloves of garlic. Cook until the chickpeas have a soft consistency, add salt and pepper and add chopped parsley. When the cream is lukewarm, shake it and pour the mixture into small bowls that you will keep warm. Meanwhile crumble 2 slices of homemade bread without crust and toast them in a pan with a drizzle of oil, poached garlic and 100 g of chopped walnuts.
Garnish the chickpea cream with this mixture of bread and nuts, and add small slices of fresh porcini mushrooms.
For those who do not like them, they can be replaced with parmesan flakes, ham or speck cubes.
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