Chickpea Pancake With Broccoli And Eggplant

The title of food writer Joe Yonan´s new cookbook seems to jump out like a scolding from your mum: Eat Your Vegetables.

Yet that´s not Yonan´s intent at all. Writing in the introduction, the Washington Post food editor explains that he wants readers to try the recipes because they sound good; he´s not proselytizing. Yonan, who describes himself as mostly vegetarian, has written a vegetarian book, but he describes it as a vegetable book. His message: Think about eating vegetables, don´t focus on avoiding meat.

There is plenty to entice in Eat Your Vegetables, from simple sandwiches – grilled cheese tricked out with kimchi (make Yonan´s or use jarred) and Asian pears – to the more involved, such as this Mediterranean flavour powerhouse: a chickpea pancake topped with broccoli, eggplant dip (or use store-bought baba ghanoush) and feta. Yet even that pancake comes together quickly: Pour the easy-to-whisk-up batter into a hot skillet, then pop it into the oven, no flipping.

Yonan targets the single cook, but you can adapt the recipes upward. Then get ready to celebrate your vegetables. – Chicago Tribune/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Ingredients

½ cup chickpea flour
¼ tsp salt
½ cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 very small head broccoli or several florets broccoli, sliced
¼ cup store-bought baba ghanoush (or use other dips)
Freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp crumbled feta
1 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Method

Heat the oven to 225°C. Whisk together the chickpea flour, salt, water and one tablespoon olive oil until smooth.

Heat a small (20cm) cast-iron skillet over medium heat; when hot, pour in remaining one tablespoon olive oil. When the oil shimmers, pour in the chickpea batter. Transfer the skillet to the oven.

Bake until the pancake is golden brown on top and pulls away from the edge of the pan, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven; turn the oven to broil. Set a rack so the skillet will be 10cm to 12cm from the flame.

Meanwhile, steam the broccoli in a steamer basket over 3cm of simmering water in a small saucepan until crisp-tender.

When the pancake is done, smear the baba ghanoush (or preferred spread) on top. Cover with the broccoli. Season with pepper to taste; sprinkle with the cheeses. Broil until the cheese melts and broccoli browns slightly, three to four minutes. Remove; let cool slightly. Slide onto a plate; cut into wedges to eat.


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