Chickpea Cakes and Tomato Jam

By: Jo Rosas

3 cups cooked chickpeas (2 x 15 oz. cans, drained and rinsed)
½ cup green onions, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ t. minced rosemary leaves
¾ t. salt
zest of 1 lemon
juice of ½ lemon
Egg substitute equivalent to one egg
½ cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
¼ cup homemade breadcrumbs or gluten-free breadcrumbs
¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
oil for shallow frying
sea salt (ideally Maldon or fleur de sel) for finishing

Makes about 16 small cakes

These little chickpea cakes are so versatile; you can serve them as an appetizer, a side dish on an entree plate, or as the protein-packed star of the show. They are somewhat like a pan-fried falafel, but without the benefit of a deep-fried crust, so we amp up the internal flavoring. Try them with the tomato jam (*) for a big flavor combination.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and buzz until you have a fairly uniform mixture, but before it is completely pureed. We want some texture left. You should be able to form it into a ball that holds its shape. It should be neither crumbly nor a batter. Add liquid or breadcrumbs as necessary to find the right moisture level.

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, over a medium-high flame. Take a golf-ball sized piece of dough, press it in your hands into a flattened 3-inch patty and place in the skillet. Repeat with as many as will fit comfortably. Fry on one side until golden brown, about 3 minutes, then flip and brown the other side. Remove to paper towels and finish with a little bit of sea salt.


Makes about a cup , which will keep in the fridge for a few days

I opted for rosemary, saffron and chilli flakes. It would be equally delicious with garlic and lemon zest, or with coriander, turmeric and black pepper.
It is important to peel the tomatoes before making the jam, otherwise you will have unpleasant stringy bits in it. To peel them, you simply make an X in the skin at the end away from the stem, dunk them in boiling water for 10 seconds, cool, and you can zip the skin right off.

24 ounces tomatoes, cored and peeled, roughly diced
½ cup onion, finely diced
½ teaspoon rosemary leaves, very finely chopped
¾ cup sugar (you could also try a little less) or sugar substitute
¾ teaspoon salt
pinch of chilli flakes
pinch of saffron, crumbled
black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Bring all ingredients to a simmer (the liquid will all come out of the tomatoes, you don't need to add any).
Cook for about an hour, until thick and syrupy.
Taste and adjust seasoning.

[with thanks to Michael Natkin]