when i first began to conceptualize my cookbook everything was basically a blur. writing an ingredient-based, single-subject book seemed a little one dimensional, so i really wanted to ground it in something tangible, something that gave the subject of chickpea flour some context. using chickpea flour throughout the year to highlight its versatility made sense to me, and more broadly how to incorporate chickpea flour into dishes throughout the year so you're not stuck with a whole bag of it just for those times you want to make socca.
pretty early on in my book proposal process i wanted the chapters to flow as months of year rather than chapters made up of appetizers, entrees, desserts, etc., from there, i tried to give each month an equal amount of breakfast options, lighter lunch fare, entrees, and sweets. one category i didn't plan on having much inventory in was the snacking/noshing section. as i got into the recipe testing phases, i started playing around with a chickpea "polenta" dish. during that process i saw that when chickpea flour and water was heated over the stove, it turns into a melted cheese/roux consistency. i had an idea of adding that creamy mix to a nut-based dip or cheese sauce to give it even more rich texture. so many of them turned out so good, and tasted so spot on, that i included a bunch in the book.
one of those recipes was a chickpea flour-based tzatziki dip that comes so close to the original, that i still question whether i'm eating dairy or not. besides using it for dipping, i love adding it to grain bowls or salads as a creamy alternative to a tahini or yogurt-based sauce. in this recipe it's the dressing for a super simple chickpea and avocado salad that adds a mellow coolness from the dill and cucumber. this is a perfect picnic salad (it's totally vegan, so you don't have to worry about it going bad on a warm day), a simple lunch, or as a companion to a dinner meal.
as for the major giveaway! grohe was kind enough to send me one of their stellar new faucet to try out, and i couldn't be more impressed with not only the design, but its functionality as well. when it comes to faucets i'm not that picky. if it works and does the job, i'm pretty happy about it. but after experiencing its pull-out spray head, and the toggle between normal water flow and spray, i'm pretty much smitten. as for the giveaway, grohe is giving away 4(!!!) of their eurocube faucets to 4 lucky winners, with the first winner being chosen Friday, June 10, and the final winner being chosen Friday, July 3. enter here for a chance to win (giveaway is open to US residents only). good luck! :)
*this post was created in partnership with grohe. all opinions, as always, are my own.
chickpea &avocado tzatziki salad | v
if you're not vegan/dairy-free feel free to use a tzatziki of your choice (even though i think you should give mine a shot - wink,wink). i also think that cannellini or navy beans would work well here, as well as any fresh greens you have on hand.
| serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side |
- 1 medium cucumber, grated with a box grater
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup chickpea flour
- 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked (up to 4 hours or overnight)
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- sea salt & fresh pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- big handful fresh baby spinach, mesclun greens, or baby arugula
- 3 radishes, shaved on a mandolin
- 1 bunch spring onions, white and light greens parts sliced thin
- 1 ripe avocado, chunked
- fine sea salt & fresh pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons -1/4 cup tzatziki
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- herb or vegetable flowers (optional)
- place the grated cucumber in a fine-mesh sieve. use your palm and push to squeeze out as much liquid as possible; set aside
- in a small saucepan, whisk together the water and flour until smooth. turn heat to medium and continue whisking until the mixture thickens, about 6 to 7 minutes; the mixture will resemble a roux or melted cheese. remove from the heat.
place the flour mixture, cashews, garlic, vinegar, oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper, to taste, in a high-speed blender; blend for 1 minute until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl; stir in the grated cucumber and dill. let the tzatziki come to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
remove from the refrigerator when ready to serve and give it a good stir.
- place chickpeas, sliced radishes, onions, and avocado in a large bowl. season with salt and pepper.
- add tzatziki and toss. taste and adjust, adding more tzatziki, salt, or pepper if needed.
- garnish with toasted sesame seeds and herb or vegetable flowers.