Monday, October 3, 2011

Vegan MoFo: Chickpea Frittata

Last week, when I was shopping, I noticed a new line of Italian convenience foods, Lucini Italia. I had never heard or the brand, but one item that caught my eye was their Tuscan Chickpea Frittata mix. It sounded delicious, but I vaguely recalled reading something by Mark Bittman about socca and chickpea fries last year, and thinking how simple those recipes seemed, since they were basically just chickpea flour, salt, water and olive oil.

Sure enough, I read the ingredients and the only thing the package contained was chickpea flour. I decided to simply buy chickpea flour instead of the Tuscan Chickpea Frittata mix, and hope I could find a suitable recipe, thinking that on the very small chance we didn't like the frittata, I could always find other ways to use the chickpea flour, and that the chickpea flour was more economical*.

I was already dreaming things to top the frittata with, or bake into it, before I had even paid for my groceries. Once I got home, I found a perfect recipe (though when I made it, I used a lower temperature).

The frittata baked up wonderfully and looked like the most gorgeous, perfect cornbread. While it was baking, it doubled in size, although it did sink back down as it cooled. When it cooled enough to cut, it sliced beautifully and looked like polenta. The first night we ate it, I had some fresh, gorgeous, super-flavorful vine ripened tomatoes, decided serve the frittata with tomatoes two ways; first, a raw tomato, basil, and garlic relish, as a topping and second as Lebanese-style green beans.

With the leftovers, I reheated the frittata in the toaster over, and topped with seared crimini mushrooms and spinach in a garlic white wine sauce.

The frittata was a little dry on the second day, so I would cook it a little bit less next time (I didn't time it, just watched it and cooked it until it seemed done, since I cooked it at a lower temperature). The hard, dry texture seemed perfect for frying, and since JD hate mushrooms and spinach, I pan fried his portion. He loved it, and it was much easier to fry than polenta, which always splatters for me.

*All the reviews of Lucini Italia's food that I've seen have been very positive, so I'm sure they're very good, and they apparently grind their chickpeas much finer than anyone else. I used Bob's Red Mill chickpea flour, which is stone ground and was about the same price for twice as much product. As I haven't tried both, I can't say how they compare, in terms or flavor or texture.

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