Chickpeas have always been one of my favorite legumes. Unlike beans, which are mushy in texture and took many years of meticulously picking them out of my chili before I finally resigned myself to liking them, chickpeas have a nice, nutty bite to them.
Last week I made this Sausage, Kale, and Bean Soup, but I substituted chickpeas instead of the beans. (If you end up making it, I recommend adding a splash of red wine vinegar and some red onions).
Since I was only cooking for myself, I still had half a can of chickpeas hanging out in the fridge for the rest of the week, awaiting their fate. So I decided to get creative and make them into chickpea sliders. Kind of like a falafel in slider form.
Initially my idea was to use whole wheat mini-pitas (like the kind that you can find at Trader Joe's). But I didn't have any and a trip to the grocery store was a full four-mile drive away, so I decided to use some whole-wheat naan bread that I had hibernating in my freezer for occasions such as this. I re-heated it in the oven and used my smallest biscuit cutter to make slider-sized rounds. (And then I kept the trimmings to dip into hummus later. Waste not, want not.)
For the toppings, I visualized some roasted red bell pepper, mixed greens, feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce. After a quick perusal of my fridge, I then modified my vision to hummus, red onion, tomato, and baby romaine lettuce leaves.
The results were even better than I had expected. And no deep-frying required. In the future, I might try using dried chickpeas soaked overnight to see how it compares since falafel is traditionally made that way. I definitely recommend these sliders for parties or if you want to try something new. It's also a great option for vegetarians or for "Meatless Mondays," which a lot of people are partaking in nowadays.
(Obviously looks a lot bigger in this picture than it really was...)
1 15-oz can Chickpeas (drained, rinsed, and ground in a food processor)
1 Garlic Clove (minced)
2 tbsp Parsley (finely chopped)
2 tbsp Flour
A pinch of ground cumin and/or coriander
Salt + Pepper
Whole wheat pita/naan bread (mini or cut into rounds)
Toppings (Suggestions: hummus, mixed greens, tomatoes, red onion)
-Combine the chickpeas, minced garlic, chopped parsley, flour, egg, cumin/coriander, and salt/pepper.
-Form into small slider patties and sauté in some oil over medium heat until browned on both sides (I used canola oil). Drain on a paper towel.
-Warm the naan bread in the oven. If necessary, cut into rounds using a biscuit cutter (or cut around something round with a knife).
-Build your slider with desired toppings.