Chickpea & paprika crostini



Right – who’s up for a little chickpea quiz (written by sterretjie101 over at  No peeking at the answers now…  Let’s see who REALLY loves this legume.

1. The chickpea belongs to the legume family in the plant kingdom. According to the species classification, what animal does the humble pea resemble?

a) Shrew

b) Camel

c) Ram

d) Mongoose

2. From what language does the English word chickpea originate?

a) Turkish

b) Latin

c) German

d) Chinese

3. What type of chickpea grows in countries such as Egypt and Chile?

a) Desi

b) Sambal

c) Hubtan

d) Kabuli

4. In the past chickpeas were used to cure warts.



5. In eighteenth century Europe, writers noted that chickpeas were being used as a substitute for what?

a) Potatoes

b) Coffee

c) Sugar

d) Wax

6. Because chickpeas are high in dietary fibre, what disease are they considered beneficial for?

a) Ileites

b) Proctitis

c) Diabetes

d) Gastritis

7. A three-bean salad may be made up of chickpeas, greenbeans and what other ingredient?

a) Mung beans

b) Pigeon beans

c) Coral beans

d) Kidney beans

8. In what country are the leaves of the chickpea plant eaten as a vegetable?

a) Vietnam

b) Brazil

c) India

d) Austria

9. How long can dried chickpeas be stored?

a) Unlimited time

b) 8 years

c) 16 months

d) 17 years 3 months

10. What is the name of the flour made from chickpeas?

a) Dolmas

b) Latke

c) Gram

d) Gado-gado

[scroll to the bottom of the post for answers]

Why all this focus on the truly delicious chickpea?  Because it’s time for My Legume Love Affair, the event conceived by the lovely Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook and guest-hosted this month by my dear friend – the one and only, ever-fabulous Courtney of Coco Cooks. Although the event is usally for all kinds of dishes, Courtney has set us a little challenge this time:  the recipe must be a legume-based starter or dessert.

Now I do cook with legumes pretty often, but very seldom as a starter or dessert, so there was some brain-racking to be done.  In the end I remembered a fab side dish that I made with Nigel Slater’s slow-roasted lamb, consisting of a spicy chickpea & paprika mash and I figured it would taste great on crostini.

I was right :)

CHICKPEA & PAPRIKA CROSTINI (serves 4 -6 as a starter)


1 small  baguette (about 30cm long), sliced
olive oil for brushing
1 medium onion, very thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
salt to taste
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
chopped parsley to garnish


Slice the baguette into 1cm thick slices and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Brush each with a little olive oil and grill under a medium grill until just toasted and beginning to brown.

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a small saucepan.  Over medium heat, add the onions, garlic and paprika and sauteé gently until the onion is very soft.

Into another small saucepan, empty the tin of chickpeas together with its water and heat gently until the chickpeas are heated through but not boiling.  Remove from the heat and drain.

Remove the onion and garlic mix from the heat and add the drained chickpeas to it.  Using a potato masher, mash the chickpea and onion mix (but leave some chunky bits for texture!).  The mix can be quite claggy, so add more olive oil or a little warm water until the desired consistency is reached.  Check for seasoning and add salt and more paprika if desired.

Spread each slice of toasted baguette with the chickpea mix.  Arrange on a serving plate (or on individual plates of mixed salad leaves) and top with a sprinkle of paprika and some chopped parsley.

NOTES:  This chickpea mash is also great as a side dish with roasts and is a great low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes.

Don’t forget to get your entries in for this month’s Waiter, There’s Something in My… challenge.  The theme is retro classics, so think prawn cocktail, melba toast and steak Diane!  The deadline is Sunday 3 May.



1 = c  2 = b  3 = d 4 = True  5 = b  6 = c  7 = d 8 = c 9 = a 10 = c or check out the detailed answers on the original site here.

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  1. says

    apparently i know nothing about the chickpea…except that it tastes good. lovely mash–it’s wonderful to see the chickpea used for something other than hummus! :)

  2. says

    Hah, I think I got nearly everything wrong. The crostini look delicious! I love recipes that use garbanzos as the canned variety– they’re quite difficult to find in any other form here, heh :)

  3. says

    Hi Jeanne, that looks really good! Love chickpeas in any shape and form!!! Keep meaning to the the WTSIM challenge, then realise the deadline is upon me….aaargh…better organised next time!!! Thanks for the comments on my blog:)

  4. says

    Whoops! I didn’t know that much about chickpeas after all. What I do know is that I love them to bits and these crostinis look scrumptious!

  5. says

    Rats. Only 6/10 on the quiz. (But I protest!! It should be 7/10 – they say that dried chickpeas can be stored for an unlimited time. We had some really really old chickpeas that would NOT soften no matter how long they had been soaked or cooked. So I think “16 months” is closer to being the correct answer….)
    Your crostini look delicious, Jeanne! I like the idea of using smoked paprika in them.
    P.S. I must say that I’m a little green with envy but congratulations on winning the book on preserving! I can’t wait to see all your legume preserves! Imagine how much better your own tinned chickpeas will be!

  6. says

    Mmm, these crostini look fabulous. I just love chick peas, so they were the perfect pairing with the crostini. Great job!

  7. says

    What fun! And yummy tidbits, too. : } Congrats on winning – I’ll have your jammin’ cookbook in the post this week.