fresh recipes

Fresh Recipes | Smoky Baked Chickpeas

It’s time to jump on the baked chickpea bandwagon!

Usually, chickpeas are not one of my go-to ingredients. I might throw some into a pasta salad or if I’m feeling up for it, use them for homemade falafel–but that’s pretty much it. So when I saw all these baked chickpea recipes popping up around the inter webs, I was intrigued. And a little skeptical.

Fresh Recipes | Smoky Baked Chickpeas

I mean, would chickpeas really make that great of a snack? Would they turn out crispy or just sorta chewy? But I decided to go ahead and give it a try yesterday. I was already in the kitchen making lots of freezable food to get ready for the upcoming school year and since the chickpeas take less than 5 minutes of hands-on time before sending off to the oven to bake, I figured it would be the perfect time to figure out what all the hype was about.

Fresh Recipes | Smoky Baked Chickpeas

During my original recipe research, the bake time + oven temperature seemed to be a bit lower than what I ended up going with, but I had great results with what is listed in the recipe. If it is your first time making them, I might start checking 10 minutes or so before you think they could possibly be done, just to make sure. Plus, if you’re turning them every once in awhile, you’ll get an idea of their doneness that way too.

Fresh Recipes | Smoky Baked Chickpeas

I don’t think I could have been prepared for just how amazing these turned out: super crunchy, super smoky. I could seriously not stop popping them into my mouth–even during the photo shoot, I kept stealing them from the bowl before I remembered that I had to shoot first, eat second!

Fresh Recipes | Smoky Baked Chickpeas

The end result sorta reminds me of wasabi peas, another one of my favorite snack, just not quite as crunchy and a whole lot more cumin-y. Make sure that you do turn/mix the chickpeas around every once in awhile, also, because even while I did that, I still had a few only semi-crunchy chickpeas. They’re all still tasty though!

Fresh Recipes | Smoky Baked Chickpeas

Have you ever baked chickpeas? Results? Other seasonings?

Smoky Baked Chickpeas

Makes about 1 cup

Print recipe!

Ingredients:

1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

Steps:

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

After the chickpeas are drained and rinsed, shake off the excess water and pour them into a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine salt, smoked paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper to form the spice rub. Mix well.

Pour the olive oil over the chickpeas. Mix and then add the spice rub, continuing to mix until evenly distributed.

Place the chickpeas on a baking sheet, making sure to spread them out. Place them in the oven and bake until crispy, about 45-60 minutes, turning every so often.

Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Time: 50-65 minutes

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Fresh Recipes | Cornmeal Crusted Pesto Veggie Pizza

Happy Monday, friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! It continued to be gloriously cool and rainy around these parts–I even had to break out the jeans for a few nights.

Fresh Recipes | Cornmeal Crusted Pesto Veggie Pizza

As expected, pretty much every meal last week included some form of this pesto. Be it pesto, hummus, and veggie sandwiches or a pesto veggie frittata, I swear we just had the same ingredients in a slightly different form every day. But when the quality of ingredients is that great, it becomes something I want to figure out how to use all of instead something I have to figure out how to get through it all.

Fresh Recipes | Cornmeal Crusted Pesto Veggie Pizza

I have a lot of frozen leftover cornmeal pizza dough that I’ve made in the bread machine, so one night, I pulled some out and after adding the toppings, decided to make it semi-galette style by folding over the edges to form a thick fold over crust. It made each slice look smaller, but I loved the added crunch of cornmeal at the end.

Fresh Recipes | Cornmeal Crusted Pesto Veggie Pizza

Despite my best efforts, I ended up freezing the last little bit of pesto for later use–any suggestions?

Cornmeal Crusted Pesto Veggie Pizza

Serves 2

Print recipe!

Ingredients:

1 cornmeal pizza dough (like this or this)

1/4 cup kale almond pesto

4 stalks kale, de-stemmed

1 small zucchini, sliced

1 small squash, sliced

1 tomato, sliced

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

4 leaves basil

olive oil

salt

pepper

Steps:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add kale and sauté until wilted, about 3-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, place zucchini and squash in a large bowl. Coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and mix well.

Roll out pizza dough and place on baking sheet.

Assemble pizza with even amounts of pesto, mozzarella, zucchini, squash, kale, and tomato. Try to leave about an inch opening from the side so that at the end, you can fold over the edges to make a “fold over” crust.

Place in the oven and let bake until crust is browned and cheese is melted, about 30-40 minutes. A few minutes before you take the pizza out of the oven, cut a chiffonade of the the basil leaves and carefully sprinkle on the pizza.

Remove from the oven, slice, and enjoy!

Time: 50 minutes

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Fresh Recipes | Kale Almond Pesto

Folks, we have basil! I’ve been eagerly awaiting for our first basil of the season and our CSA farm thankfully included it in this week’s supply. I just love how the smell permeates everything–I didn’t even touch the actual basil until I got back home from the farm, but my hands + car totally smelled like it just from handling the bag.

Fresh Recipes | Kale Almond Pesto

So what’s a girl to do with her first fresh basil of the summer? Is that even a question? Pesto! I’ve made my fair share of pesto in my day, but this time, I really wanted to try to make it without my standard additions of pine nuts + feta or parmesan cheese. Jeff swore that it couldn’t be done, that it just wouldn’t taste right, but when I surprised him with a taste of this batch when he got home from work, he had no idea I’d even left anything out of the usual recipe!

I also wanted to add a little kale in with the basil this time, especially since we got a bunch with our veggies this week, and since I had a few leftover toasted almonds from Monday’s dinner, I threw those in as well. I was honestly a little shocked at just how good it turned out with the unusual ingredients, but I’m so excited it did!

Fresh Recipes | Kale Almond Pesto

And now, I have a glorious cup of fresh pesto in my fridge waiting to be used–be prepared, next week’s recipes just might all be pesto themed!

Have you ever changed up the standard pesto recipe? Find any other good combinations?

Fresh Recipes | Kale Almond Pesto

Kale Almond Pesto

Makes about 1 cup

Print recipe!

Ingredients:

3 cups kale, washed and de-stemmed

1.5 tablespoons almonds

3.5 cups basil

3 cloves garlic

1/2 lemon, juiced

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil

salt, to taste

Steps:

Heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add kale and sautee until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place almonds in a cast iron pan and cook until toasted, turning often, about 3-4 minutes.

Combine kale, almonds, basil, garlic, lemon juice, remaining olive oil, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until combined, adding more olive oil or salt, if desired.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze for later use.

Enjoy!

Time: 15 minutes

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Fresh Recipes | Mediterranean Picnic Spread

Happy Monday, friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Our weekend was pretty low-key after the pre-anniversary celebrations of last weekend. It was also ridiculously hot and humid which made it difficult to really want to do anything. I did, however, try to spend as much time in the kitchen as was humanly tolerable without being forced to turn on the air conditioning. It just seems kinda silly to heat up the house with the oven, just to be forced to cool it off after.

Fresh Recipes | Mediterranean Picnic Spread

We receive our weekly CSA on Tuesdays, so it gets a little bit more difficult to create recipes as we near the end of one box and the start of the other. Plus, when it’s this hot outside, normal meals just don’t sound quite as appetizing–especially heavy ones. So, for dinner last night, we decided to put together a sort of mediterranean inspired picnic spread. While we didn’t actually picnic (did I mention how hot it is?), this meal would have been perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon picnic.

Fresh Recipes | Mediterranean Picnic Spread

I’ve really only made normal–wheat, white, country–bread loaves in the bread machine so far, so on Sunday morning, I set out to make my first cheese inspired loaf: roasted garlic and dry jack cheese. Two heads of roasted garlic and 1/2 cup of cheese? Yes, please! Of course, our local grocery store didn’t have dry jack cheese, so we went with a flavorful gouda instead, which also is one of my favorite additions in my obsession from Wild Flour Bread in Freestone, CA. Other than that, I pretty much followed the recipe verbatim–here’s the cookbook if you’re interested. I haven’t tried either of these recipes, but they both look like they’d be great substitutes as well, either with a bread machine or without.

Fresh Recipes | Mediterranean Picnic Spread

Finally, we did our favorite simple veggie prep–olive oil + salt + pepper–before throwing them on the grill pan while also toasting some almonds and assembling the rest of the goodies. We used store-bought hummus this time, but this white bean version would go great as well. A perfectly varied spread for a perfectly sweltering night!

Fresh Recipes | Mediterranean Picnic Spread

Fresh Recipes | Mediterranean Picnic Spread

Mediterranean Picnic Spread

Serves 2

Print recipe!

Ingredients:

1 loaf roasted garlic cheese bread, sliced

1 large zucchini, thickly sliced

1 red bunch onion, halved

1/4 cup unsalted almonds

1/4 cup spicy hummus

6 ounces gouda cheese

8 slices salami

olive oil

salt

pepper

Steps:

Heat grill or grill pan over medium heat.

Lightly coat zucchini and red onion with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Place on grill and cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes per side for the zucchini and 4-5 per side for the red onion. If the green of the red onion starts to overcook, place that part over the side of the grill pan or over less direct heat on the grill.

While the veggies cook, toast the almonds in a small cast iron pan over low heat for about 5-8 minutes.

Assemble your mediterranean picnic spread with roasted garlic cheese bread slices, grilled veggies, toasted almonds, hummus, gouda, and salami.

Enjoy!

Time: 25 minutes

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