Thursday, 19 May 2011 | 17 comments

Smoky lemony chickpea crostini

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

    For assembly:
    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.


§ 17 responses to Smoky lemony chickpea crostini

  • Tim

    This is such a refreshing variation on chickpea spreads! Nice choice. Also, your site remains one of the most beautiful on the web. So lucky to have found it. Keep up the great work!

  • I am alway opent ot a new chickpea concoction. I love how simple this is but the pimenton really makes it special. Your photos are beautiful (I am tryin gto get better at that.

  • Benjamin

    And what was the agreed upon wine pairing?

    • Aw, Ben does read my site! And of course your first comment ever was about wine. We paired with a Cab Sauv from the vineyard you work at—stood up nicely to the smoky paprika (and didn’t grate against the lemon like I worried it might).

  • Jamie

    I LOVE the Sinskey Pinot Noir, we’ve had it several times at Evening Star Cafe in Del Rey. I will definitely be making this dip and it’s making me wish I had chickpeas on hand right now! Now I am off to read the other recipes on their site!

    • Jamie–I’m so glad you commented because I have never tried any Sinskey wines, which is something I should have disclaimed in the post. I was absolutely judging a book by its biodynamic, cutest-pictures-of-sheep-ever cover. Thanks for letting me know; maybe I’ll seek out the Pinot.

  • Jamie

    We made this tonight and it was the fastest thing to disappear from our cookout! So tasty!!!

  • I LOVE THESE!! Seriously delish. Merci beacoup for posting about them. Now I have a fall-back plan for when I can’t quite find a use for the whole can of chickpeas…which seems to happen a lot…

  • G

    I’ve made this before & was so so good, thank you for reminding me again. Robert Sinskey wines are some of the most beautiful, delicious wines I’ve ever tried. Pinot Noir & Pinot Gregio are both excellent & love their sustainability model. Aloha!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What's this?

You are currently reading Smoky lemony chickpea crostini at The Yellow House.