Herbed Chickpea Bruschetta
Served with Iron Hub 2014 Sauvignon Blanc. The key to these delicious bruschetta from chef Nancy Silverton* is lots of olive oil. After she bakes the chickpeas with a variety of flavorings–including onions, pancetta and carrots–she purees them with a good amount of oil, spreads the puree on toasts and drizzles with a little more oil.
1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
14 garlic cloves, 4 cloves halved
1 ounce pancetta or prosciutto, diced
1/2 medium yellow onion, halved lengthwise
1/2 medium carrot, halved lengthwise
1/2 celery rib, halved lengthwise
3 sage leaves
1 small rosemary sprig, plus 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped leaves
1 bay leaf
1 dried chile de árbol
2 tablespoons kosher salt
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and drizzling
About 30 baguette slices (1/2 inch thick)
1/2 teaspoon minced thyme leaves
Flaky sea salt, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium Dutch oven, combine the soaked chickpeas with the 10 whole garlic cloves, the pancetta, onion, carrot, celery, sage, rosemary sprig, bay leaf, chile, salt, 1/4 cup of the olive oil and 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and stir. Cover and bake for about 2 hours, until the chickpeas are tender. Remove from the oven, uncover and let the chickpeas cool in the liquid for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, lightly brush the baguette slices with olive oil and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Rub the cut halves of garlic on one side of each toast.
Drain the chickpeas, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid; discard all the aromatics except the garlic. Transfer the chickpeas and garlic to a blender. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil and the reserved cooking liquid and puree until smooth.
Arrange the toasts on a platter. Dollop the chickpea puree on top and use a small spoon to form a little well in each dollop. Drizzle the bruschetta with olive oil, sprinkle with the chopped rosemary, minced thyme and sea salt and serve.
To Make Ahead: The chickpea puree can be refrigerated for 1 week. Rewarm before serving.
*Nancy Silverton is an American chef, baker, and author. The winner of the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Chef Award in 2014, Silverton is recognized for her role in popularizing sourdough and artisan breads in the United States.