Vibrant Food Recipes
Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Food written and photographed by Kimberley Hasselbrink (Ten Speed Press, © 2014).
FRESH CHICKPEAS on TOAST
Serves 6 to 8
Fresh chickpeas—who knew? I discovered these last spring at the farmers’ market. Eaten raw, they’re crunchy and green, similar to a fresh pea. Cooking fresh chickpeas causes them to lose their soft green color and turn into the beige legume we all know. It was my friend Stacy’s idea to pair these with toast—genius. They’re a nod to the spring classic, peas on toast, but the chickpea flavor is a little quieter. Their shelling requires patience; listen to music and share the task with a handful of friends and a bottle of wine.
1 baguette, sliced into ½-inch rounds
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
16 ounces fresh chickpeas in their pods (about 2 cups shelled)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh mint cut into ribbons (chiffonade), plus more for serving
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh dill, plus more for serving
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup ricotta
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and brush each side lightly with olive oil. Toast the bread for about 20 minutes, turning once, until golden brown.
Meanwhile, prepare the chickpeas. Shell them and place in a medium bowl. You should have about 2 cups.
In a small bowl, whisk together the 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, mint, dill, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the chickpeas and toss to evenly distribute. Set aside. In another bowl, combine the ricotta, lemon zest, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt.
Assemble the toasts by spreading about 2 teaspoons of the ricotta mixture over each toast, followed by a spoonful of chickpeas and a drizzle of their dressing. Garnish with mint, dill, and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.
APRICOT and CHICKEN SALAD with TOASTED CUMIN VINAIGRETTE
Serves 4 to 6
Apricots can be so fussy. At their peak, they are heavenly, marvelous fruit, but so often what’s available at the supermarket is underripe and a little bland. Go for fragrant, rosy gold apricots at the peak of their season. The vibrant flavors of cumin and green herbs make this salad really sing. It’s great as a hearty weekday lunch.