The Cooking Chronicles: Chickpea Patties with Salad

I’m just about finished with Mark Bittman’s Food Matters, and I have to say, I’ve never been more inspired to cook with lentils and beans. Food Matters implores readers to reduce their overall meat intake, citing health benefits, the unacceptable conditions of industrial meat production, and the impossibility of the world to support the growing demand for meat. I respect Bittman’s philosophy primarily because he does not call for a radical shift – instead, he advocates for a gradual change, and a diet that can accommodate meat and other guilty pleasures – just in smaller and occasional quantities. It is an approachable method that doesn’t seek to alienate the public (or worse, be easily dismissed as “elitist”), and of course, it helps that the book contains both practical advice and actual recipes to follow.

I didn’t think I would be attracted to recipes without any photos, but I immediately bookmarked a handful of them, primarily the ones featuring chickpeas, which are my current ingredient-of-the-moment. Bittman’s recipes are also great because he lists dozens of substitutions – that knowledge is often assumed in cookbooks, and I appreciate that he spells it out for readers who need it like me.

I had printed off a recipe from Real Simple a few months ago, and didn’t get to it until this week. It coincidentally features, – you guessed it – chickpeas!

The chickpea patties were to be pureed in a food processor with garlic and seasonings, but as we are without a blender or a processor, we used Mack’s Magic Bullet instead. It worked all right, though for the consistency we were looking for, it was uneven (some too mushy, others left whole). We also ended up incorporating the additives by hand in a bowl, which seemed to work out fine. Our difficulty with the recipe, however, was actually forming the patties – they were on the dry side, and the flour dusting didn’t help. We imagined the patties would cook up crispy on the outside, pan-fried in olive oil, but the reality was that they were simply browned, and warmed through.

Chickpea patties with salad

Served with a fresh salad dressed in just olive oil and lemon, it was a light but filling supper. We are open to suggestions on how to improve the recipe though! Best of all, our supper also meant we were allowed to indulge in chocolate covered bacon without guilt, heh.

5 thoughts on “The Cooking Chronicles: Chickpea Patties with Salad

  1. I live in an apartment with no room for a blender or food processor, as much as I would love both. Getting a hand stick blender will change your life. It’s a bit unwieldy for some recipes, but modifications make almost anything possible, including smooth hummus. And making smooth creamy soups easily in the pot is wonderful. I got one at Costco (the Cuisinart) a year or so ago for about $50 I think.

    Fibre is magical, by the way.

  2. Bittman’s ‘How To Cook Everything Vegetarian’ is an absolute essential. I’ve made dozens of dishes from the book, and only had one dud.

  3. My Mum has an immersion blender – I tried it, but the dull blade probably didn’t help my experience. Good to know it can be adapted for various recipes.

    “Food Matters” is the first Bittman book I’ve read…I’m curious to read others now. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Since you’re on a chickpeas kick right now, might I suggest checking out the blog “Dinner with Julie” (dinnerwith … I’m sure you’ve seen her in a few blogrolls). Do a search in her recipe index for “beans” recipes – she’s got quite a few chickpea recipes, although my favourite is the fabulous “Roast chickpeas with garlic and chard” ( ). And now that I think of it, Isabelle at “The Little Red Kitchen” just posted about a chickpea recipe that she’s currently addicted to … 🙂

  5. Oh, yeah, and I quite forgot – Julie’s funnier than *hell* to read … 🙂

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