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Chickpea-Artichoke Bites with Rosemary Aioli

It wasn’t even close.  The chickpea-artichoke bites were officially chosen as the favorite appetizer recipe in Party Vegan, hands down.  No recounts needed, no hanging chads.  Just a big thank you to everyone who participated in this impromptu poll, in spite of being super-busy with the holdays coming up.
As promised, here’s the recipe for the winning appetizer.  I made these this morning so I could take a photo and ended up using marinated artichoke hearts instead of canned or frozen, because that’s all I had in the house.  Guess what?  I like them even better this way! And I made them about half the size for “one-bite” bites — so this recipe now makes twice as many as the recipe in the book.  So even if you already have Party Vegan, you might want to try this version to compare.  

I hope everyone enjoys this recipe, and for those whose favorite didn’t win — you can find all the recipes in Party Vegan — which, I’m excited to say, was chosen as a “top last-minute gift” on VegNews.com.

The chickpea-artichokes bites weren’t the only winner.  Random.org has chosen a winner from among everyone who voted.  And the winner is:  Vicki!  Congrats, Vicki!  Send me your mailing address and I’ll get a copy of Vegan Unplugged and five (count em, five) product coupons in the mail to you. Thanks to all who entered.  I wiish you all a wonderful holiday season!  Now here’s on more photo of our winning recipe — and the recipe itself.

Chickpea-Artichoke Bites with Rosemary Aioli
These sophisticated nibbles are easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time. The accompanying aioli adds luscious layers of extra flavor. This is adapted from Party Vegan by Robin Robertson © 2010, John Wiley and Sons. The original version makes fewer and slightly larger “bites” requiring a longer baking time. This version uses marinated artichokes (instead of canned or frozen) for a more tangy flavor and uses a bit more parsley to make them festive looking.

1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, well drained
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, mashed
1/2 cup diced cooked potato (see note)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Rosemary Aioli (recipe follows)

Lightly oil a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Finely chop the artichokes or pulse them in a food processor until finely chopped. If using a food processor, add the chickpeas and pulse to break up.  Otherwise, mash the chickpeas in a bowl and add the artichokes and mash together. Add the potato, parsley, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chickpea flour, and baking powder. Mix well to combine. If the mixture is too dry, add 1/2 teaspoon (or more) olive oil or lemon juice.
Pinch off a small amount of the mixture and use your hands to roll it into a 1/2- to 3/4-inch ball. Place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the mixture is used up.
Bake for about 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Arrange on a platter with a small bowl of aioli and serve warm.
Makes 24 puffs

Note: If you don’t have cooked potato on hand you can quickly “bake” one in the microwave (then peel and dice) or steam the diced potato pieces over boiling water until tender.

Rosemary Aioli
1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, run through a garlic press
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 to 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
Salt, to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix until smooth and well blended. Taste and adjust seasonings. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate until needed.

Makes about 1/3 cup

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