Spicy chickpea pancake a versatile appetizer | VailDaily.com

Spicy chickpea pancake a versatile appetizer

Remember when you couldn’t go to any restaurant and not see the portobello mushroom on the menu? That one was really a starter to the vegetable food trend that has taken over our minds and menus. How about zucchini noodles, brussel sprouts, cauliflower or when PB&J was everywhere and targeted towards adults?

Food trends are a great way to experience vegetables. This trend is so last year, but I love the chickpea. This healthy appetizer is one I have been serving for over a year and every time I end up writing down the recipe for someone who loved it. Not only is it pretty but it’s healthy and vegan and easy to make at home.

Annually, I visit NYC to see a great friend who happens to be vegetarian or vegan- depends on the day. Last year, we had a chickpea crepe and it was light, different and delicious so I decided to recreate a version of it, hence the pancake. Topping the pancake with avocado (this is not avocado toast) and then a spicy tomato relish with a big kick of vinegar creates a delightful splash of flavors and a healthy, colorful appetizer.

By the way, my annual NYC visit was last weekend and they have upped the avocado toast with goat cheese, tomatoes and an herb salad of dill, tarragon and cilantro. Yes, avocado toast is still strong, although I did see carrots on many menus and predict we see the carrot making a hop to trendy soon.

Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, have been a Middle Eastern staple for quite a long time and are full of plant based protein, vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of folate and manganese and help fill you up so working them in as an appetizer can be considered somewhat hearty. The flavor of this pancake is not overpowering and you may even get the kids to eat it. The pancakes can be stored in a baggie in the fridge for a few days, so it could double as a healthy, low calorie lunch or snack with a variety of toppings.

With the holidays approaching, this appetizer with green avocado and red relish could hold a nice spot on your holiday buffet line and a great offering to those who prefer to eat healthy. They are pretty easy to make and pretty to look at, so please enjoy.

Spicy Chick Pea Pancake Appetizer
1 cup chick pea flour (can be found at most grocery stores)
1/4 cup Olive Oil, plus 2 Tablespoons for cooking
½ cup water
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2-3 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and mashed
½ cup sun dried tomatoes
3 serrano peppers
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

Combine chick pea flour, ¼ cup olive oil, water and ½ teaspoon salt. Whisk together until smooth.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and coat with olive oil.
Measure 1 Tablespoon of batter per pancake.
Cook 4 minutes, flip and cook 4 minutes more.
Cool on wire rack.
In a mini food processor, combine sun dried tomatoes, 2 serrano peppers, red wine vinegar and 1/ 2 teaspoon salt until well pulsed.
Note- if you don’t want your relish too spicy, remove the seeds from the serrano.
Slice the 3 rd pepper in rounds to garnish the appetizer.
To assemble the appetizer, place a spoonful of mashed avocado on top of the pancake and 1 teaspoon of the relish on the avocado, then garnish with a round slice of pepper.
Makes 18.

Tracy Miller is a personal chef and caterer and creates healthy, unique food choices. To contact her email her at Tracy@colorfulcooking.com.

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