Monday, 12 January 2009

highly addictive bitter green mini yet curiously round not-so-italian farinata/bastard love children of pakoras and felafel

...huh. Turns out radish leaves are edible. Who knew? I had a few bunches of radishes, and it seemed a horrible waste to throw out all those lovely greens, but I had never heard of them being eaten. So, using the awesome power of teh Googles, I checked if I would regret cooking them up and/or poison myself (which would be a shame, and isn't on my list of things to do). Several sources confirmed that people actually eat these, and that you can just treat them like any other bitter green. I nibbled on one. They were too bitter to eat raw or in a salad (at least these ones were, maybe the summer ones are more delicate?), so I made these. I love bitter greens with chickpea flour pancakes, or farinata, which is a pretty standard Italian combination that a friend made for me a few times, which started a mild obsession with farininata that I have yet to totally overcome. This seemed like a natural extension of the idea. These are ridiculously versatile and a little too addictive. The sweet potato adds depth and sweetness. These are somewhere between a pakora and a felafel, but they're not fried, and they're pretty dense (so don't make them too big).

-1 medium sweet potato, mashed
-about 1c chickpeas, also mashed
-2 large cloves garlic and a good-sized piece of ginger, grated/mushed/or finely chopped
-generous pinch asafoetida, 2tbs toasted ground cumin, 1 tbs toasted ground garam masala, 1 tbs toasted sesame seeds (just dry toast everything together in a pan) 1 tbs curry powder, 3-4 tbs dried coriander leaves (Jake, just use parsley), sprinkle of salt, 1 lemon of lemon juice (all to taste, amounts given are wild guesses of what I added)
-radish leaves, chopped, blanched and drained. I had leaves from 2 big bunches of radishes, which when cooked and chopped, yielded about 3/4 cup. Any bitter green will do (arugula, dandelion, fenugreek leaves...have fun!)
-chickpea flour (the amount will depend on how wet the rest of your ingredients are, I used about a cup)

Combine everything but the chickpea flour. Add chickpea flour a little at a time until you have something that you can form into patties. Form small (I used a tablespoon) patties, roll in cornmeal, squish to little mini-burger like shapes, and bake at 180C for about 20 mins. Flip halfway through if you're so inclined, but I didn't, and nothing bad seemed to happen. Eat them like felafel. Or like pakora. Or just dip them in eggplant pickle. Throw them on top of spaghetti with marinara sauce and you have italian-indian delight! ... they really do go frightfully well with spaghetti and tomato sauce. Above, you see them fresh out of the oven, with eggplant pickle, a baked potato, and a giant salad. These are great if you pack a lunch, btw. They travel really well, and taste good cold, I was going to check if they reheated well in the microwave, but the microwave at work is gross, and I refuse to use it, even for you, my dear readers. You'll have to check on the reheatability of these yourselves and report back to me.

bitter green love music: John's book of alleged dances. John Adams and the Kronos Quartet. I seem to be falling in looooove with the Kronos Quartet. Yummy music.


Jake said...

So I hear that you can't mash regular potatoes in a food processor because they get all gluey, but what about sweet potatoes? Because with the amount of smashing and chopping and mixing involved, this recipe seems to call out for a cuisinart, and I would love to make it that way if you approve it.

sinead said...

I totally approve. Go for it. Just leave a bit of texture, otherwise I suspect that the final product will be gluey. I used a potato masher and smashed the chickpeas and sweet potato at the same time.I also just popped the sweet potato whole into the chickpeas while they were boiling.

medici said...

Oh yum! I just ate a couple of these little devils for lunch, along with 1/2 of a gigantic boiled spud (a delicious one) decorated with eggplant pickle and radish slices, and some unidentified green leaves that needed to leave my fridge.


It was a hit!!!

sinead said...

yeah...I probably should have mentioned that the recipe posted makes alot. Like, somewhere between 20 and 30, if you use a tablespoon as a scoop. The end amount depends on how much chickpea flour you end up using, which will depend on how wet your other ingredients are....also, I think the "medium" sweet potatoes in Scotland might be "large" sweet potatoes elsewhere. No idea. It was about 1.5 cups once it was mashed.

Jake said...

That's a medium sweet potato. I diced about 3/4 of a sweet potato over the weekend and it made more than three cups. Even accounting for the reduction in volume on mashing I don't think 1.5 cups qualifies as large.

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