I thought this was just going to be a fancy hummus . . .
I found this recipe for Warm Artichoke and Chickpea Pâté on the Huffington Post website and thought it would make a good filling for a wintertime sandwich. Much to my surprise and delight, the artichoke pureed with the chickpeas, along with the other spices and herbs, gave the pâté a texture and flavor very different from what I was suspecting. It turned out much creamier, and had a consistency similar to tuna fish salad (if I am remembering tuna fish correctly). In fact, I think this pâté would probably make a great vegetarian tuna melt alternative.
Artichokes are actually the bud of a large flower head before it comes into bloom; once the flower blooms, this bud becomes stingy, coarse, and barely edible. Both the ancient Greeks and Romans ate artichokes, and it is a popular ingredient in Mediterranean cooking. The heart of the artichoke is the softest, the best part to eat, and most often used, but often the outer leaves can be cooked and eaten as well.
For me the surprising ingredient for this recipe was the use of Chinese Five Spice Powder. This mixture of star anise, cloves, chinese cinnamon, sichuan pepper, and fennel seeds is not something I cook with often, and I was unsure how well the flavors would combine with the artichoke. In fact, both fennel and anise are flavors that I do not really like very much, but I figured when it comes to unknown spices, it is always worth trying a recipe the first time how it is written and you can always change it up a bit later. I am glad I did, because the recipe works very well seasoned with these spices, and it would not normally been something I would have tried.
You can use this recipe for the chickpea and artichoke pâté on its own, as a topping for crackers, or in a sandwich as I did. It would be gluten free and vegan without the bread or the cheese I used, and these items can easily be swapped with gluten free or vegan substitutions .
Warm Chickpea & Artichoke Pâté Toasted Baguette Sandwich
adapted from: The Huffinton Post: TASTE
- 390 gram or 14-ounce cooked chickpeas
- 200 gram or 7-ounce jar of artichokes packed in sunflower oil or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh coriander,chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 French baguette , for serving
- roasted red peppers, sliced for topping
- parmesan cheese, shaved, for topping
- lettuce, for topping
Preheat oven to 180 C or 350 F.
Drain the chickpeas and artichokes.
Roast the five spice in a hot, dry pan until fragrant.
Blend all the remaining ingredients to a fine purée. I found this easiest to do with my stick blender directly in an oven proof dish.
Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish, if you are not using a stick blender, and then bake for 10 minutes, or until heated through.
Cut a length of baguette to your desired size, and slice it open. Toast baguette in the oven while warming the pâté.
To build the sandwich: Place the lettuce and a thick layer of the warm pâté onto the toasted baguette, and top with the sliced roasted red peppers and shaved parmesan cheese.