While in NYC, I ventured to the Greenmarket Farmer’s Market at Union Square. As I drooled over the fresh produce (there were the most beautiful bundles of kale), I had to find my dinner. I ended up buying a farinata to go. The farmer told me it was one of his most popular items. Unlike my socca, which was a thin chickpea pancake with toppings, this was a thick slab of a crustless chickpea tart (almost an inch or more thick) with the toppings integrated right into the farinata itself. It wasn’t my best meal. In fact, it was my meal low-light since it was rather dry and crumbly. However, it inspired me to make something even better upon my return back home.
I bookmarked Ricki’s quizza (a chickpea flour-based quiche-pizza hybrid) this summer and it seemed to be exactly what I was looking for: a thick slab of pie, creamy instead of dry, filled with my favourite veggies. Rob continues to experiment with the Besan Chilla, the Indian Chickpea Pancakes, and throws all sorts of vegetables into the batter (baby bok choy, red pepper, carrot, etc) and even kimchi. Quiche is equally adaptable to a multitude of fillings.
I went with Mediterranean flavours when I adapted Ricki’s recipe: zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach spiced with garlic, rosemary, basil and oregano. Plus, with a nod to the Besan Chilla, I added black salt for an egg-like taste. Next time, I may add some olives or caramelized onions, too.
I love how versatile chickpea flour can be be. In the Besan Chilla, you have a pancake texture, with the socca it is more firm and here, you definitely have a creamy consistency. Definitely better than the farinata from the market. Plus, I can easily make this at home while cleaning out the vegetable odds and ends. Definitely a win-win situation.
Next up on my chickpea flour to-try list: Candle 79’s Chickpea Crepes.
This is being submitted to this month’s My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Kiran, to Ricki’s Wellness Weekend, to this month’s Breakfast Club featuring eggy breakfasts and to this month’s Bookmarked Recipe.
Mediterranean Crustless Chickpea Flour Quiche
3 loosely packed cups spinach, destemmed (150g or 1/2 bunch), chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes or until soft (water reserved), then chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped (100g, or 1.5 cups)
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
3 tsp fresh basil, minced
2 tsp fresh oregano, minced
2-1/4 cups chickpea flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt, or more, to taste
1/2 tsp black salt, optional
3-1/8 cup water including water from tomatoes
1. Preheat oven to 475F. Lightly grease a 9″ spring-form pan or metal skillet/frypan with vegetable shortening, olive oil or coconut oil.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the spinach, garlic, soaked and chopped tomatoes, zucchini and herbs.
3. In a large blender (I used my Vitamix but even a hand held blender would be sufficient), combine the chickpea flour, olive oil, salt, black salt and water. Blend until smooth and frothy.
4. Combine the chickpea mixture with the vegetables and mix well. Add to your greased pan, making sure your filling is evenly distributed.
5. Back at 475F for 45-50 minutes, checking after 30 minutes. The quiche should puff up and brown but also be slightly firm (not wet) inside.
Serves 6. May be frozen.