When this Examiner saw a recipe for Cucumber Chickpea Bruschetta last week it was very intriguing. We were celebrating the 4th with friends and I wanted to make something special as an appetizer.
Bruschetta made with cucumber as the based seemed easy and since there is no gluten-free bread needed it is pretty cheap to prepare. Then a friend gave me two cucumbers from her garden and we had local salsa fresh from the farmer’s market in the refrigerator, so the plan came together. This bruschetta is incredibly easy to make, customizable, refreshing and layered with flavor and texture.
This recipe comes from Shirley Braden and her great blog called Gluten Free Easily. The excerpt below is from her blog and is in her own words.
This Cucumber Chickpea Bruschetta is perfect for simple family snacking or elegant enough to serve as an appetizer at a dinner party. I’d even go so far as to say that one could have this bruschetta as a meal. Plus, it’s gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, soy free, corn free, yeast free, and egg free. For folks with intolerances and/or allergies, that puts tasty “bruschetta” on their table—with no baking. And, yes, this bruschetta is even vegan. No matter on our eating needs, for all of us, it’s a nice way to get in one’s veggies, fruit, and protein. I also like the fact that it’s a cold snack-—that’s very much appreciated with this heat wave we’ve been having. In fact, Mr. GFE gave this recipe two thumbs up and said that he liked the cucumber slice as the base better than traditional bread or even crackers. He explained that the cucumber slices are so juicy, one doesn’t have to keep sipping on a beverage every few seconds. He also suggested that shrimp would be perfect on these little bruschettas. As I’ve said before, we really do think adding shrimp makes just about any appetizer or entree better. No shrimp was needed though as we sampled this bruschetta before eating some steamed crabs. However, it’s amazingly filling. We had to stop after only a few. I’m taking the rest to work today, and I know they’ll be well received.Cucumber
can of drained chickpeas, mashed
juice of about one-fourth of a lemon
chopped basil or other herbs and seasonings (e.g., dill, cumin, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes)
salsa (see notes below)
- Slice cucumbers thick enough that they can hold some weight. (See photo.)
- In a large bowl, add chickpeas and lemon juice. Mix well. Mash chickpeas with a potato masher or back of a spoon. They do not have to be fully mashed, just spreadable (or “spoonable”).
- Spread chickpea mixture onto cucumber slices using a spoon.
- Mix tomatoes, onions, herbs, and seasonings. Spoon onto chickpea-topped slices.
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens magazine
Shirley’s Notes: I used a seedless cucumber as I think they are a bit sturdier and I like the lack of seeds. Chickpeas are much more difficult to mash by hand than black beans; I was surprised. Just mash enough to be able to place on the cucumber slice. With the remaining chunkiness and their coloring, the mashed chickpeas almost look like shredded cheddar cheese, which is not a bad thing when one is eating dairy free. We had some peach-mango salsa leftover from our weekend camping trip with Son and his friends, which I used as topping for half of these bruschetta. (Incidentally, I’m not sure on the plural of buschetta. I just found out I was saying the word wrong after all these years. Apparently there’s the correct pronunciation and then the Americanized pronunciation.) Just a dab of salsa from a spoon on top of the chickpea mixture was all that was needed. The resulting bruschetta was really lovely, with so many flavors and textures … all working well together. These are very addictive for a healthy snack! Incidentally, this would be a great recipe to get the kids involved in, too.
Author Information: Jennifer D. Harris, Atlanta, GA
Jennifer D. Harris, http://www.jenniferglutenfreeingeorgia.blogspot.com
Gluten-Free Product Specialist, Return to Eden
Program Chair, Atlanta Metro CeliacsTwitter@jenniferGFinGA