Monday, January 31, 2011

Chickpea Picatta and Caulipots

 Okay, so I'm sure after reading the title and comparing it to the picture you're wondering "What is that exactly?"  And to answer you, delicious!  Unlike most vegetarian/vegan recipes that portray themselves as the animal-friendly version of a traditional meat dish, if you looked at a picture of Chickpea Picatta and Chicken Picatta you will see they really look nothing alike.  And sometimes that's a good thing for people who think some meat and meal alternatives are too close for comfort to the real thing.  I had never had Chicken Picatta when I used to eat meat, but whenever my best friend and I would go to the Cheesecake Factory, that was her 'go-to' choice.  It always looked really good, so when I saw this recipe I decided to give it a go.  The only way I could be disappointed was if I just didn't like the flavors because I didn't have anything to compare it to...and sometimes that's a good thing so your expectations aren't too high.  This is the big problem I think people have when trying meat alternatives for the first time...I hate to break it to you, but a veggie burger isn't going to taste like a real burger.  Just be open has opened up a ton of new opportunities in my food-loving world!  And I definitely wasn't disappointed with this!

The base is arugula and is topped with a delicious and more "figure-friendly" version of the mashed potato.  These "caulipots" are half potato, half cauliflower and are perfect when you're looking for something comforting to eat during these long winter months without feeling heavy after.  It acts as the replacement starch to the pasta you would normally see in this dish.  And on the tippity top are the chickpeas, capers, shallots, and white wine mix (the flavors of the traditional picatta) that really pulls all the parts together.  The name makes it sound nice and fancy, but it doesn't require a ton of time or preparation..and it's extremely healthy!  So, if you're looking for a way to impress your friends, try this out!

Chickpea Picatta:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 scant cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • A few dashes fresh black pepper
  • Generous pinch of dried thyme
  • 1 16 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup capers with a little brine
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups arugula
  • Cooking spray
  • Preheat a large heavy bottomed pan over medium. Saute the shallots and garlic for about 5 minutes, until golden. Add the breadcrumbs and toast them by stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. They should turn a few shades darker.
  • Add the vegetable broth and wine, salt, black pepper and thyme. Turn up heat and bring to a rolling boil and let the sauce reduce by 1/2, it should take about 7 minutes.
  • Add the chickpeas and capers to heat through, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon and turn off the heat.
  • If serving with mashed potatoes, place the arugula in a wide bowl. Place mashed potatoes on top, and ladle picatta over the potatoes. The arugula will wilt and it will be lovely. If you are serving solo, just pour right over the arugula.

  • 2 medium Russet Potato
  • 1/2 Cauliflower Head
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Broth
  • Place the potatoes in a 4-quart pot in enough cold water to submerge them, making sure there are about 4 inches of extra water on top for when you add the cauliflower. Bring the potatoes to a boil. Once boiling, add the cauliflower and lower the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes and cauliflower are tender.
  • Drain them in a colander, return them to the pot and use a potato masher to mash them a bit. Add the olive oil, 2 TB of broth and add salt and pepper to taste. Mash a bit more. Use a fork to make sure all the seasoning are mixed well. If needed, add more vegetable broth.
Note:  For the Caulipots, I added 2 tbsp Earth Balance instead of olive oil and a tbsp of Tofutti's Vegan cream cheese (the new one that is sans trans fat!)

Source: Appetite for Reduction

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