Everything tastes good after a day at the beach…
Burrowing into the sand, paddling around the shallows, and collecting stones from the surf: high-energy activities. At the end of each day last week, sun-soaked and heavy limbed, the kids dragged themselves back to the house, where they would have happily eaten just about anything before falling into the kind of deep, dark sleep that belongs only to children in the long days of summer.
But after a week in a little cabin (even a little cabin with beach rights), I am happy to be home–back to my counter space and my spice collection, back to my dishwasher and my weighty silverware.
Before I left to go to the grocery store when we had returned home on Saturday, my husband had just one request: “No more meat!”
So, this meatless meal is an ode to my well-stocked kitchen and its marvelous gadgetry (food processors, strainers, graters, and heavy-bottomed skillets). It also has the added advantage of making great use of our bumper crop of green onions.
Curried Chickpea Cakes with Tzatziki-ish Sauce
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup of croutons or about 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs
1 cucumber, seeded if it is very seedy
1 1/2 cups 2% Greek Yogurt (like Fage)
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 green onions, roughly chopped
a big handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
the juice of one lime
2 tablespoons (or more) mild curry powder
oil and/or butter for pan frying
1. In your food processor, grind your croutons, if you’re using them.
Otherwise, add the drained and rinsed chickpeas and the bread crumbs to the food processor and pulse to grind them together. You just want to break the chickpeas into pieces, not obliterate them
2. Peel and grate your cucumber into a wire mesh strainer and sprinkle it, right in the strainer, with about 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow it to hang out there for a while. This will pull the extra water out of it and allow it to drain.
3. Transfer your roughly ground chickpeas and bread crumbs into a large bowl. To the bowl, add the olive oil, curry powder, about 1/2 cup of yogurt and about half of the chopped green onions. Season with salt to taste. Then add the eggs.
4. Heat enough oil and/or butter (I like to use a combination of both) to cover generously the bottom of a heavy skillet. Form about six patties (about 1/2 cup of chickpea mixture) and fry them over medium/medium-high heat, flipping once halfway through.
5. While the patties are frying, mix up your tzatziki-ish sauce. (I’m not sure whether this technically meets the definition of tzatziki, so I’m covering my bases with the inclusion of the “-ish,” but it’s pretty close.) To the remaining 1 cup of yogurt, add the drained cucumbers and salt, the remaining green onions, the cilantro, and the juice of one lime.