I get many requests to review cookbooks, and I usually only say yes to the vegan cookbooks. I like supporting vegan authors, and I don’t want a book full of recipes that I can’t make. (Or have to figure out how to veganize.) For these reasons, I hesitated when I was asked to review Chickpea Flour Does It All. I do love cooking with chickpea flour though, and I often find myself looking for new uses for it, so I decided to say yes.
Chickpea Flour Does It All by Lindsey S. Love is a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian cookbook that’s devoted to the use of chickpea flour as well as to seasonal eating. It’s loaded with absolutely gorgeous, drool-worthy photos. The book contains ninety-six recipes, forty-nine of which are vegan. The non-vegan dish use eggs, which I find disappointing, because eggs are so easy to replace in recipes (and I often use chickpea flour to do so!), but, like I said, I did know that this wasn’t a vegan cookbook before I agreed to review it.
The dishes in Chickpea Flour Does It All range from breakfast omelets and quiches to dessert cakes and pies, and they encompass just about everything you could eat in between, such as a Kalamata Chickpea Wrap with Pickled Leeks and Microgreens and Ratatouille Tartlets. The recipes are all gluten-free, but some do contain other types of flours to keep baked goods from getting too dense.
The recipes in Chickpea Flour Does It All are arranged by season and they’re further categorized by month. I’m a big proponent of eating locally and seasonally, so I appreciate the organization. Winter’s recipes are warm and hearty. There are lots of soups, and many recipes use foods such squash and season fruit. The Spring section of the book contains lighter fare such as wraps, quiches, and frittatas and use microgreens, rhubarb, strawberries, and other spring produce. The Summer Chapter includes grilled vegetables, lettuce wraps, and fruit pies – all perfect for making the best of the summer harvest. The Fall months are my favorite, because they use the last of the summer veggies as well as some of the heartier squashes that are ripe in the fall.
I had fun cooking with Chickpea Flour Does It All, and I was able to experiment with ways of cooking with chickpea flour that I might not have thought of on my own. Both the Baby Kale Caesar Salad and the Alfredo with Watercress and Chives are made with a roux of chickpea flour and water that is then mixed with raw cashews and a few other ingredients in a blender. These are both recipes that I would normally make with a cashew cream base, and I enjoyed making these chickpea flour versions. I had a little trouble with the chickpea flour pizza crust, but it was nothing that a little extra flour couldn’t solve. (And it turned out perfectly in the end.) I have my own recipe for a chickpea flour omelet, but it’s different than the one in the book, which was delicious.
Chickpea Pizza with Asparagus and Pea Shoot Tangle from Chickpea Flour Does It All
- 1 ¼ cups warm water 105°–115°F
- 1 teaspoon natural cane sugar or 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 1 packet instant yeast approximately 2 ¼ teaspoons
- 1 cup 140 g brown rice flour
- 1 cup 120 g chickpea flour
- ½ cup 55 g sorghum flour, plus more for dusting
- ½ cup 60 g arrowroot powder
- 2 teaspoons psyllium husk powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch asparagus 456 g, peeled into ribbons
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups 112 g pea shoots
- 8 ounces garlic hummus or hummus of choice
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the water and cane sugar until dissolved; sprinkle in the yeast and let the yeast proof for about 10 minutes, until the surface is foamy and bubbly; if yeast does not proof, start over with more yeast.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, arrowroot, psyllium husk, and salt. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the yeast mixture and oil. Using a dough hook on an electric mixer or a paddle attachment on a stand mixer, mix the dough until smooth. Dough should be able to hold its form but be sticky to the touch. If the dough is too sticky and not able to hold its form, add more chickpea flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is firmer. Cover the dough in the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes, until roughly doubled in size.
Place a wire rack at the lowest position in your oven, place a baking stone or baking sheet on it, and preheat oven to 500°F (260°C).
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly dust them with sorghum flour. Using a dough scraper, divide the dough into two even pieces; gently form each piece of dough into a ball. Place a piece of dough on each prepared piece of parchment; dust the dough with a light coating of flour and press it into an 11-inch round, working your fingers from the inside of the dough to the outside until the crust is about ¼ inch thick, dusting with more flour as needed.
Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise once more for 15 to 20 minutes; dough should puff up slightly and be springy to the touch.
While the dough is rising again, prepare the toppings. In a large bowl, combine the asparagus, capers, 2 teaspoons of oil, and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, combine the pea shoots with the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil and ó teaspoon lemon juice; season with salt and
pepper; set aside.
Use a pizza peel or cookie sheet to gently slide one piece of parchment with the dough onto the baking stone and bake for 5 minutes, until the dough is slightly golden and a bit stiff. Use the peel to slide the dough out of the oven, and spread half the hummus over top of the pizza; then distribute half the asparagus and capers over the hummus; place back in the oven and bake until the edges are lightly browned and crisp and asparagus is lightly charred in places, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove the pizza from the oven and top with pea shoots. Let the pizza rest for 5 minutes to let the pea shoots wilt a bit. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Repeat with remaining dough and toppings.
*Note: Pizza dough can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month. To thaw, remove from the freezer the morning of, or at least 5 hours before cooking, and allow the dough to come to room temperature. If not using the dough right away, store in the refrigerator until ready. Prepare the dough as directed.
Recipe from Chickpea Flour Does It All: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian Recipes for Every Taste and Season © Lindsey S. Love, 2016. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. theexperimentpublishing.com
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