Chickpeas “crostini” with rosemary

October 15th, 2014

With these crostini I surprised myself as well. Not so much for the fact that they are good and they are – again – the result of one of my countless experiments … but more for the fact that I managed to “create” them even though my physical condition was not exactly the best. I have been sick for a week, and last Wednesday, when I made them, I was still not feeling very good. I felt completely powerless. However, this recipe, which to be honest was buzzing in my head for already quite some time, had to get out! Tuesday evening I soaked the chickpeas and the next morning I had simmered them for 3 hours. There was nothing then that could possibly stop me…
One thing I discovered since I stopped eating meat and cheese is that legumes, and chickpeas in particular, are amazingly versatile. There you can eat them just as they are or together with a whole wheat pasta, in a soup with vegetables and whole grains, you can reduce them to a cream to spread on bread or eat with vegetables, they can be used to make tasty meatballs cooked in oven (the ones that, according to my son, are: “very very very very very very very very good over the whole world!”:-) ) … and so forth.

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At the beginning of last week, when indeed I was feeling even worse, in addition to bone pain I had to endure this constantly hungry stomach, depending on the fact that I was hungry but I did not really feel like eating (what I had in my pantry). So wednesday I decided to took action. These “crostini” were precisely the “comfort food” that I needed, but with the advantage of not being harmful to our health. They certainly do not cause the blood sugar spikes of industrially produced croutons since the major fraction of the ingredients (5/6: chickpeas and almonds) have a low glycemic index. The remaining fraction (1/6: whole grain spelt flower) has a medium-high glycemic index, but combined to legumes provides us with all the essential amino acids we need to build our proteins (as I already explained in a previous post). So, especially if you do not eat meat or you want to try to reduce its consumption, combining legumes and (whole grain) cereals can never hurt. Almonds, on their hand, are low in sugar but rich in “good” fats, those ones who help us to maintain low the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in our blood. The garlic and rosemary then … along with the chickpeas give that really special taste to these crostini, also according to my classmates that last thursday had the pleasure to taste them.

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Ingredients:

350g cooked chickpeas *
150g grounded almonds
100g whole grain spelt flour
100ml chickpeas’ water
20ml cold pressed olive oil
ca. 15g fresh rosemary
2 cloves of garlic

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Procedure:
.reduce the chickpeas in a cream with a food processor, to do this add the water
.chop finely the garlic and rosemary
.mix the cream with the almond flour, oil, salt, and the chopped garlic and rosemary
.add the whole grain spelt flour and knead until the dough is manageable but not particularly hard (if necessary, add more flour)
.shape it into two rolls of 3-4 cm thickness
.place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake them at 180 degrees for 25 minutes
.take them out of the oven, let cool for 5 minutes and then cut transversely
.arrange the croutons back on the baking sheet
.bake for another 20-25 minutes, turning them after 10-12 minutes.

* If you do not want or do not have time to cook the chickpeas yourself you can also use chickpeas from a can. Anyway, they are not difficult to prepare. This is how I do it: I soak them for one night, the next morning I drain them and I simmer them slowly in plenty of water, adding garlic and herbs (in this case rosemary), only at the end I add the organic sea salt. I cook them for approximately 3 hours.

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