The internet is a beautiful and terrible thing. Sometimes you stumble upon a site that just stops you in your tracks, making you compulsively visit it over and over again, regardless of the fact that the content hasn’t changed (but you’re hoping it will! Maybe this time…click…nope). That’s how it was for me this week when I discovered the online presence of Robert Sinskey Vineyards.
It’s hard not to be drawn in with a site design as gorgeous as this one. But on top of that, the business itself has eerily similar qualities to the vineyard Ben and I dream about owning someday: attuned to the earth, kind to its workers, seasonally-oriented, and tied to a farm-to-table restaurant. Virginia is a nascent (but growing) wine region, so for young wine lovers like us, it’s nice to see more established business models that fill niches other than those we see here.
In keeping with the dual wine-and-food focus of the place, they’ve posted recipes from the kitchen, and here was where I got sucked in. It might just be because
they pair every recipe with a wine I was really hungry of the context of the beautiful site, but everything sounded so good to me. And before I knew it I was emailing all the residents and visitors to the Yellow House to determine if we had any smoked paprika on the premises, because I knew I’d walk through the door after work wanting to make Maria Sinskey‘s smoky lemony chickpea dip.
This is not a story of ephiphanic recipes or a complicated struggle in the kitchen trying to get something just right. Sometimes you read the ingredient list of a recipe, and that’s enough. That’s how it was with this. I don’t think I actually looked at the recipe again until after I had made it. And similarly, my idea to put the dip on crusty slices of bread wasn’t a creative stroke of genius. It’s what people do naturally, and have for years, when they encounter something savory and creamy that’s not quite right for fork nor finger.
But if anything, that’s the reason you should make this. Linger a little bit over it, tasting as you go along. Slice up your bread and toast it in the oven. Have it for a snack. Or do what we did: bring out cheese, a little wine, and some veggies and make a meal out of it.
Smoky lemony chickpea crostini
Reprinted with kind permission from Robert Sinskey Vineyards.
Don’t stress about the ingredient amounts–just taste as you go along. The recipe calls for processing until smooth, but I found I actually liked the texture a little bit more on the mashed-chickpea side, where some of the chickpeas are still a bit distinguishable. And while it does help the flavors meld, I’m not holding out that you’ll be able to wait overnight to eat this…I couldn’t.
You will need
2 cups cooked chickpeas
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sweet pimenton (smoked paprika)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste)
1 medium clove garlic, pressed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 loaf of crusty bread of your choice
1 clove of garlic
Place all of the ingredients, minus the olive oil, in the bowl of a food processor, process until smooth. Run the processor while slowly adding the olive oil to emulsify. Turn out into a bowl and season to taste with salt. Let sit for 1 hour at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature and adjust salt if necessary, about 30 minutes before serving.
Toast slices of crusty bread and rub them with the cut side of a garlic clove before topping with chickpea dip.