Chickpea Cakes with Za’atar Cauliflower Relish

Written by chanie on February 24th, 2014

If you follow my blog, you probably already know about my passion for Israeli fare. From cumin to za’atar and roasted eggplant to chickpeas – you’ll find loads of Middle Eastern-inspired recipes here on BIB. I’ve been growing my collection of Middle Eastern cookbooks as well, with Balaboosta just recently added to books like Plenty, Jerusalem, Cook in Israel, The Book of New Israeli Food, and more.

In this delicious appetizer, I’ve created a chickpea cake, in a preparation similar to polenta, using garbanzo flour. Such cakes are popularly served in Northern Italy (where it’s called panisse) as well as the South of France (where it’s called panelle). They are often cut into sticks and fried to resemble french fries.

For the topping, I went with a delicious combination of za’atar roasted cauliflower with caramelized onions, prunes and toasted pine nuts. The result is a delicious combination of Middle Eastern flavors – the perfect recipe to guest post on Yosef Silver’s blog, This American Bite. You may remember it from The Great Blog Swap Link-Up where I created a recipe for grilled corn with za’atar garlic butter, inspired by his recipe for garlic, za’atar & olive oil stovetop popcorn.

For the recipe, head on over to This American Bite.

1 year ago: teriyaki salmon
2 years ago: stuffed roasted butternut squash
3 years ago: quick & easy chocolate rugelach

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21 Comments so far ↓

  1. Thanks for sharing over at Tasting Jerusalem – clicking over to read the details now.

  2. Lauren says:

    I was introduced to Zaa’tar by kimkushner.com, I am so excited to try it with this recipe! Thank you!

  3. This is really a superb recipe. I am going to try it for sure!

  4. Ksenia says:

    As an Israeli, I think your combination of flavours here is spot on! Though prunes definitely seem like a strange twist, but that’s what draws me most to this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Ronnie Fein says:

    As I commented over at Yosef’s site: these are some of my favorite flavors. And they are beautiful too. And, once again, it is before my breakfast and I would eat these right now if I had some!

  6. Everything about this combination of flavors is amazing! It makes me want to run to the kitchen and make them right now. The pictures are beautiful as well, I love that stone plate!

  7. These look fantastic – restaurant worthy!

  8. I made this dish. The flavors were good but I was not sure about the chickpea cakes. Mine were crisp on the outside and like custard inside. I thought they should be firmer. Also, did you deep fry? I really just browned them.

    Thanks again for guidance on this creative dish.

    • chanie says:

      Hi Jennifer! I shallow fried the chickpea cakes – and they should be crisp on the outside and kind of smooth on the inside – like polenta would be if you fried it. I think when people think of chickpeas they imagine falafel but the idea of Panisse is much closer to polenta since it uses garbanzo flour as opposed to beans.

  9. Tanya K says:

    Didn’t get an answer on the other site and would love to make these this weekend – how many does the recipe serve? We’re having 12 people so I’m wondering if I need to double or triple the recipe, thanks in advance!

    • chanie says:

      Hi Tanya,

      Yosef’s wife actually had a baby yesterday so that explains why he hasn’t answered! It depends what size cookie cutter you use. With a 2″ cookie cutter you can get about 12 per pan. Also, you can use a bit of a bigger pan and the panisse will be a bit thinner and you can get a bit more out of a batch.

  10. Erin says:

    If I want to make a quick version, would this work well using polenta rounds as well?

  11. Sébastien says:

    Great recipe. I’ll taste it really !

    But just a correction in your presentation of chickpea.
    PANELLE is the Sicilian name.
    FARINITA is the Italian name (Ligury region) and PANISSE is the French name (Provence region).

  12. Chavah says:

    Hi Chanie,

    Thanks a lot for the fabulous recipe! When I made this dish for the first time, I used broccoli. Later, I tried it with cauliflower. Both versions came out very delicious.

    Kind regards from Latvia.

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