Crispy Ceci Recipe
Vancouver's Campagnolo restaurant serves up this flavourful appetizer dish for the lunchtime crowd. Chef de cuisine Jean-Christophe Poirier's mix of crispy fried chickpeas and fresh herbs is a killer combo that sits on a healthy bed of mixed greens.
1-1/2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water
6 cups canola oil for deep-frying
2 cups baby arugula
1 cup baby spinach
1/4 cup fresh mint, torn into small pieces
2 scallions, sliced thinly on a bias
1/4 cup Italian parsley, sliced thinly
1-1/2 tsp chili flakes
Salt to taste
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Step 1: Cook the soaked chickpeas in fresh water until very tender, from 45-60 minutes. (Season with salt at the end of the cooking process.)
Step 2: In a pot that can hold at least 12 cups, bring the canola oil to a temperature of 375°F, using a deep-fat thermometer to gauge.
Step 3: Drain the chickpeas and dry well on paper towels. Slowly pour the chickpeas into the hot oil. Meanwhile, toss the arugula, spinach, mint, scallions and parsley in a large bowl.
Step 4: After about 4 minutes of frying, remove the chickpeas and drain well. While still very hot, add chickpeas to the bowl of greens. Season with chili, salt, lemon zest and juice, and olive oil. Toss well and serve warm as a starter alongside other shared dishes.