A great dish for spring, this pairs crispy chickpea fries with a sour, oniony dip with a lot of additional flavour from the artichokes, kale, and sriracha.
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2t coarse sea salt (divided)
2T millet flour
1/2T coconut sugar
1/2t black pepper, freshly cracked (divided)
3T nutritional yeast (divided)
1T fresh garlic, minced (divided)
2/3 cup hot water
3/4 cup artichoke hearts (not jarred)
1 cup green curly kale
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
4 scallions, minced, 3″ – 4″ green reserved for garnish
1 1/2T white pickling vinegar
1T sesame seed butter
1T white miso
Sriracha or similar to taste for garnish
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste
Optional: Some pickled capers, black olives, or a dash smoked paprika for garnish will add flavour and colour to the dish.
Mix the chickpea flour, millet flour, 1T nutritional yeast, and coconut sugar in a small bowl. Mix the water, 1/4t sea salt, and 1/2T minced garlic. Add the dry to the wet and whisk until smooth. Let stand about 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450F. Pour the batter into a 3″ x 9″ loaf pan (silicone is preferred, but use a lightly oiled metallic one if necessary). Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Let stand for 15 minutes to cool. Turn out carefully and slice width-wise into 1/2″ fries.
Return the oven to 450F (or the highest temperature to which your baking paper is rated). Line a large baking sheet with baking paper. Add the fries evenly spaced. Add the artichoke hearts and the kale. Roast for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until the fries are lightly browned and quite crispy. Turn the fries a few times. Ovens vary; use the colour and texture of the fries as a guide.
You’ll likely have to remove individual constituents from the oven separately and set aside as necessary. The kale should be reduced and a vibrant green, but not browning. The artichoke hearts should be lightly browned. When the artichoke hearts are done, separate them, either by tearing or mincing. Tearing is preferred. When the fries are done, remove from heat and set aside to finish the dip.
With the fries in the oven, start the rest of the dish. In a small sauce pan, bring 1 cup soy milk to a light boil. Add the scallions, 1/4t sea salt, remaining garlic, and vinegar. Simmer uncovered for 12 – 15 minutes on medium low, until reduced by 1/4 cup. Adjust the reduction process as necessary to match the cooking of the fries.
When reduced, add the sesame seed butter. Puree smooth with an immersion blender (see the notes below). Add the finished kale and the artichokes. Stir to combine. Return to heat and simmer another 2 – 3 minutes on medium while the the dip thickens and the fries finish.
When everything is ready, remove from heat. Add the white miso and remaining nutritional yeast to the dip. Stir to combine. Season the dip to taste, plate the fries and spoon the dip over top. Garnish with sriracha and scallions sliced on an angle, and serve.
Note: This isn’t a good recipe to try to separate components. The fries are prepared without oil to keep the amount of fat in the overall dish low and specifically to remain crispy in the dip. They’ll be chalky by themselves, and the coconut sugar will make them unnecessarily sweet. The acidity and moisture of the dip is also measured to complement the fries specifically.
For fries that you could eat with catsup and whatnot, leave out the millet and coconut sugar, reduce the water to 1/2 cup, and add 1/2 – 1T cooking oil (a little in the batter, a little brushed on to the cut fries). Follow the directions for the fries, but expect to adjust the baking time for the cut fries accordingly.
Also, while it’s possible that other plant milks may work with the dip, soy milk has a particular chemistry. The vinegar curdles the soy milk, which separates the water from other elements. The puree emulsifies and thickens the reduced, separated soy milk with the sesame seed butter, the garlic and other ingredients to give the dip its creamy texture and cling. Without this step, the dip will be quite watery.
Other plant milks without soy milk’s protein and stabilizers may not work as expected. If you decide to try another plant milk, you’ll likely have to thicken the dip by other means (e.g., arrowroot powder, corn starch, or tapioca flour).