Ever up for a challenge, I copied down a bunch of my great aunt's recipes (some holiday; some not), with the intention of converting them, Cucina Libera style.2 The sheer quantity of eggs required by most of the recipes, still has me working out some ideas.
However, a couple of weeks ago, I was thinking about sharing a recipe traditional Easter-time "pie", which I knew I could easily veganize and make gluten free. The challenge would be to try to re-create it without using tofu or a faux-meat product. I was poring over ideas for days and days, but not really satisfied with what was coming up.
The funniest part about this is that I never really cared for the "pie". I would either avoid it entirely, or pick out and eat only the raisins, which had absorbed a bit of the salt from the cheese (salty-sweet - mmmmm...). Why I decided I was going to try to make it (instead of the version with chocolate and rice), could only be explained by my desire to overcome the challenge.
In the end it didn't even matter because a busy week - and even busier weekend - thoroughly squashed any plans to even try to experiment.
Now, I'm sure you're wondering why I rambled on about this, if I'm not even going to cough up an Italian Easter "pie" recipe for you. Well, I was about to completely shift gears and post a very simple and delicious recipe idea I'd been wanting to share, when my father called and jokingly asked if I'd made a frittata for Easter.3 You know... with eggs.
Ha ha h... uh... wait. I can totally make a frittata. OK, maybe not quite the same way it's supposed to be done - eggy-style with mint (although, that would be super-simple with tofu), but a Tuscan-style chickpea frittata... oh yeah.
Chickpea frittatas (frittate) have to be one of the easiest things to make. They kind of look like an omelette but have the consistency of a fine polenta - great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They also happen to be vegan and gluten/grain/soy/nut free, and this is without any tweaking on my part.
Traditionally, they are prepared in a cast iron skillet. I don't own one, and I didn't want to use a pie pan (although, you could). I thought it would be interesting to make individual mini frittate. Given my penchant for small foods, this shouldn't be much of a surprise.
Although chickpea frittate don't traditionally include mint, I would have prepared (at least) one that way - kind of like a "frittata mash-up". Unfortunately, I didn't have any mint on hand. Conveniently, any number of savory herbs and spices can be used. Rosemary is a very common one.
And even if it weren't, I probably would have put it in there anyway.4
In fact, I used my homemade rosemary-garlic infused olive oil, in addition to fresh rosemary.
Feel free to mix things up with any of your favorite herbs or spices - thyme, sage, peperoncini...
Mini Chickpea Frittate
(serves 4-6/ makes 8 minis)
- 1 1/2 Cups (180g) Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 3 Tbsp (30g) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 Cups Filtered Water
- 2-3 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary
Bake time: 15-20 minutes (for the minis)
Combine all the ingredients together. Mix well, until the "batter" is smooth and free of lumps.
Pour the mixture into lightly oiled muffin tins, filling them evenly. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes. Slightly vent the oven and bake for 5 more minutes, or until golden brown.
If using a cast iron skillet, heat the empty skillet in the oven, and pour the mixture into the hot skillet. Bake for 14-15 minutes, then slightly vent the oven and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes. The same baking times can be used for a pie plate, but do not pre-heat the pie plate.
Allow the frittate to cool slightly, then slide a knife around the edges to carefully loosen them from the muffin tins. Serve! They're wonderful alone, paired with a yummy salad, or topped with your favorite sauteed veggies. Vegetables can also be added to the mixture before baking.
2. - Knock-knock
- Who's there?
- Orange who?
- Orange you glad I didn't say Cucina Libera-ted again?
3. This is sort of a tradition itself - around Thanksgiving, he asks if I'm making a turkey; around the Christmas holiday, he asks if I've made baccalà (salted cod)... and so on...
4. Give me any opportunity to use rosemary, and you know I will.