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February 10, 2009

Cat Cora's Chickpea Fritters with Romesco Sauce

A hearty side dish or a light supper

Cat Cora

falafel

Noam Wind/iStockphoto

Serves 8

Chickpea Fritters

1 cup chickpea flour
1 quart water
1/8 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
Cornstarch and water slurry (thin paste, 1:2 ratio)
Panko breadcrumbs

Romesco Sauce

1 roasted red pepper, seeded, peeled, and roughly chopped
1/4 cup roasted cherry tomato "raisins" (see below)
1 tablespoon roughly chopped almonds (8 or 9 whole almonds)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Tomato "Raisins"

1 pint cherry tomatoes, with stems left on
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

 

Whisk together the chickpea flour, parsley and water until smooth, and season with salt and pepper.

Pour into a saucepan and slowly heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is cooked, about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the oil and whisk until just combined. Pour the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, roll into balls, dip into the cornstarch slurry and then roll in panko crumbs until well coated. Fry in hot oil (350 F or 205 C) until brown, about 2 minutes per fritter.

Serve with romesco sauce with the tomato "raisins" on the side.

Romesco Sauce

In a blender, combine the roasted pepper, tomatoes, almonds, garlic, sherry vinegar and olive oil, blending until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Tomato "Raisins"

Preheat the oven to 400 F (205 C).

Toss the tomatoes with oil and salt and spread on a baking sheet to roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until soft and wrinkly. Halfway through roasting, give the pan a good shake to turn the tomatoes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the tomatoes to cool. Transfer to a bowl and cover. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

Note: You can make chickpea flour by grinding dried chickpeas fine in a food processor.

Recipe courtesy of Cat Cora, first female Iron Chef America.

For even more vegetarian recipes, check out VegRecipes.org.

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