Broccoli and chargrilled zucchini flatbread with pumpkin seed pesto and cashew cream cheese by claire gunn

CHANA FLATBREADS WITH PESTO, ROMANESCO AND CHARGRILLED ZUCCHINI

Posted In: Recipes

First there was broccoli and cauliflower, then came their cousin romanesco. First made popular in Italy, it is lighter in flavour than cauliflower with a crunchier texture and nuttier finish. It’s brimming with fibre, Vitamin C and K and yes, yes we know it’s good for us – it’s a vegetable, but it’s the pretty fractal nature of the flower that is so fascinating. I wanted to make a green pizza… well, sort of. I used chana/chickpea flour to make a traditional socca flatbread and topped it with all the green goodies I had from the market. The cheese factor is replaced with a tangy, cream dressing made from cashew nuts and lemons. The super green pesto is made with pumpkin seeds and no cheese. I pump mine up with the superfood king of greens, spirulina.

Broccoli and chargrilled zucchini flatbread with pumpkin seed pesto and cashew cream cheese by claire gunnBroccoli and chargrilled zucchini flatbread with pumpkin seed pesto and cashew cream cheese by claire gunn

CHANA FLATBREADS WITH PESTO, ROMANESCO AND CHARGRILLED ZUCCHINI

For the flatbreads:

Makes 6

1 cup chana/chickpea flour
1 cup + 1 tbsp water
1 tsp kalonji/nigella seeds
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
salt

For the cashew cream dressing:

Makes a big batch of dressing and keeps for a week in the fridge

2 cups cashew nuts, soaked for 4 hours or boiled for 10 minutes
1 3/4 cup coconut cream
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
black pepper
Himalayan salt to taste
1 tsp nutritional yeast for more cheesy flavour (optional)

For the pumpkin seed pesto:

2 cups pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp salt plus more to taste
1 cup + 1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup fresh coriander (or basil)
1 cup parsley
1 clove garlic
1 tsp spirulina (optional, but a good way to get extra greens in your diet)

Other toppings:

2 zucchinis
tsp oil
salt
1 romanesco
handful of baby spinach
chives for garnish
1 lemon

First make the pesto. Toast your pumpkin seeds in 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, moving them constantly. They should snap, crackle and pop and taste and smell like popcorn when they are done. This happens quite quickly, so take care not to burn them. I usually make extra so I can chomp them right out the pan after salting.

Add 1 cup of the pumpkin seeds and all the other ingredients except the oil to a food processor and blend until it needs oil. Don’t add it all at once in case you would like a thicker, chunkier pesto. Add salt to taste.

For the cashew dressing, add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend til delicious.

Next make the flatbreads. I must add here that they look more like pancakes as it starts off as a pouring batter, but they finish being more like a bread. Combine the ingredients and whisk to a smooth batter. Heat a medium non-stick pan and add a teaspoon of cooking oil. When it is hot, but not smoking, pour some of the batter in to cover the pan. Fry until it starts to bubble, then using a spatula look underneath the flatbread to see if its golden brown. Gently flip it. Once you have made all your flatbreads, keep them covered and warm.

Put a pot of water on to boil for the romanesco while you do your zucchinis next.

Slice your zucchini into ribbons and toss with some olive oil and salt in a bowl. Fry your ribbons on both sides in a very hot griddle pan.

Boil the romanesco florets, drain and toss in a squish of lemon juice and salt.

Spread the pesto over the flatbreads, then layer with the zucchini, romanesco and cashew dressing. Top with baby spinach more pumpkin seeds, chopped chives, black pepper and a few squishes of lemon juice.

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