Tuesday, July 16, 2013

BBQ Chickpea Cauliflower Melt

As so often happens with me, once I come up with one recipe of a particular kind, I get a little obsessed with riffing on it. And so is the case with mashed chickpea salad wraps. My first couple of attempts, only one of which I have shared, were both cold sandwiches, but this all wrap is hot, melty, cheesy goodness. All of the Indian food that I've eaten had created an unbreakable bond between chickpeas and cauliflower in my brain but they make happy partners in more than just curries. The smokiness and complexity of barbecue spices (provided you've chosen a really good barbecue sauce), like that of curry, works really well with chickpeas and cauliflower. Chickpeas and cauliflower on their own are pretty subtle, but they eagerly soak up any spices you might throw their way, here transforming into something reminiscent of a barbecue chicken melt. Not mashing the chickpeas too thoroughly is important here, lest it turn into baby food, with the chopped cauliflower and red onion providing extra little crunchy bites. The cheddar really brings this all together in terms of both texture and flavor, its gooeyness and sharpness the perfect final touch of this simple, deeply flavored wrap. This was a weekend experimentation for me, but with such a short list of ingredients and required time commitment, this can easily be your busy weekday dinner or work lunch, even if you have to just give it a quick zap in the microwave.

BBQ Chickpea Cauliflower Melt
serves 1

1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, coarsely mashed
1/4 cup chopped (tender-crisp) cooked cauliflower
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
Whole grain tortilla, bread, or pita
1 ounce thinly sliced sharp cheddar (optional)

1. Mix chickpeas, cauliflower, onion, and barbecue sauce together in small bowl. Spread mixture evenly in center of tortilla, cover with sliced cheese, and roll up tortilla.

2. Preheat a pan over medium heat. Add wrap, seam side down, and cook, flipping once, until filling is warm and cheese is melted, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from pan, slice in half, and serve promptly.

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