Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Chickpea Panisse with Roasted Garlic Aioli

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Ever since I discovered socca, I've been smitten with the rich and soft texture created by combining water with chickpea flour. And when I found out that you can also make chickpea fries out of the batter, I had to try it out. These fries are not only delicious, but are also very simple: they only contain chickpea flour, water, oil, salt and pepper. These components are all whisked together to form a slurry, heated then cooled to create a sliceable texture which is then deep fried or pan fried in a little oil. The texture on the outside becomes light and crispy, while the inside remains soft, rich and airy—sort of souffle like. Here I've paired it with some roasted garlic aioli which is the perfect compliment to this addictive, amazing and sort-of-healthy appetizer or side dish.

for the aioli
1 whole head of garlic
3 TB olive oil

1/4 cup Vegenaise
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

for the fries
1 cup chickpea flour
2 cups cold water
1 TB olive oil
salt and pepper

vegetable oil, for frying
chopped parsley, for serving

Preheat your oven to 350. Slice off the very top of the garlic, keeping the rest of the garlic intact. Place the head of garlic, exposed side down, into a small glass pyrex dish. Drizzle with olive oil and cover the top tightly with tin foil. Place into the oven to bake for 45 minutes.

While your garlic is roasting, combine all of the fries ingredients into a bowl and whisk until smooth.

Place two tablespoons of oil into a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is very hot, slowly pour the batter into it. Once it starts to slightly bubble after a minute or two, take a whisk and stir it continuously and vigorously until thickened, about 7 minutes.

Remove it from the heat and transfer the thickened batter into a glass container greased with a little oil. Place into the refrigerator to cool and set.

After 45 minutes, pull your garlic out of the oven. Flip it over, and spoon some of the oil that's collected in the bottom of the glass dish over the top. Replace the foil and bake for an additional 30-45 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.

Allow the garlic to cool completely, then separate and squeeze the roasted garlic into a bowl. Add in the rest of the aioli ingredients, then drizzle the leftover olive oil into it. Whisk untill well combined.

By now, your chickpea batter should be firm enough to slice. Slice it into whatever shape you want and set aside.

If deep frying, place plenty of vegetable oil into a small saucepan. Heat it over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes. Insert a wooden spoon into the pot, touching the bottom of the pot with it. If bubbles form around the spoon immediately, you are ready to fry.

Place a few of the fries into the hot oil (no more than six), ensuring that they do not stick together. Fry for a few minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel to drain, then sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the rest of the batter. 

If pan-frying, place a couple of tablespoons of oil into a saute pan over medium-high heat. Fry the pieces for a few minutes on each side until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt while piping hot.

Serve immediately with the roasted garlic aioli and chopped fresh parsley.


  1. oh god, that looks SOOO good!

    1. Thank you Melody -- happy new year!

  2. YES so much delicious! this looks so interesting, i need to try chickpea fries!

  3. Holy moly! What a great idea! I am a serious fan of socca (though I know it as "torta di Ceci" I love the idea of making fries with it. Che yums!

  4. I've never heard of socca before, yet use chick pea flour often in baking/cooking! I wonder if baking these "fries" would work? Gotta be worth a try, I'm not too keen on frying things! They sound good, though, and roasted garlic aoli, oh yes!!!!

    1. I fried the leftovers in just a bit of oil and they were still fantastic! I've never baked fries before, but I think regular instructions for baking potato fries may do the trick!? Enjoy!

  5. I can imagine the chickpea taste with the wonderful garlic.... so much better than boring fries!

  6. Awesome presentation and explanation! I'm going to start posting more flavored vegan mayo's too!

  7. That is so interesting! I have never heard of such a thing. I bet they have an amazing texture.

  8. Hi Erin!
    Over the past few days, I discovered my loooove for Chickpea Flour! I just had things made from chickpea flour 2 times today.. :D These fries look amazing. I'll DEFINITELY try them tommorow!

    And I wanted to say, I really like your blog. Your husband and you seem to be just the perfect couple. Extraordinary recipes (How cool are those spheres and homemade cheeses??) + fantastic photography result in one happy Lara :)

    Best wishes, Lara

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Lara ... and I hope you like the chickpea fries!

  9. Hallo.
    Das ist ein schönes Rezept ich kenne es so ähnlich schon ein paar Jahre.
    http://www.effilee.de/rezept/gemuese/panisse-6545 so sehen sie dan fertig aus. http://www.effilee.de/wp-content/uploads/images/Panisse-198x268.jpg
    Oder so geht es auch.

    viele Grüße,
    Jesse aus Deutschland

  10. if i ever get my booty up to boston, can i come over and have you make these for me? pretty please..... ;)

    1. You would be an awesome dinner guest, Caitlin! Yes, come to Boston! : )

  11. How do these re-heat? Curious about leftovers!


    1. I think these may reheat well in a hot pan with a little oil, although I haven't tried it. I made a large batch, then just cut and fried them in smaller batches.

  12. I have already made this a couple of times and I must say it is very delicious! The only thing we were leery about was the amount of oil in everything. Total of 6 TB of oil for sauce, fries, and heating up. This of course is our personal preference with our fat intake, but we tried doing everything with just a total amount of 1 TB and 2 tsp of oil (1 tsp in the fry mixture, 1tsp for the garlic in the oven, and one TB to heat up the fry mixture). It came out just as good!

    Thank you so much for introducing this recipe to us. And keep up the amazing photography that sells everything.

    1. I'm glad that you enjoyed the panisse, Danielle, and were able to modify the oil in it with almost identical results. And thank you for your kinds words on the photography! : )

  13. Wow, these are great! For those who were wondering about baking, after slicing them, I put them on a cookie sheet and sprayed with olive oil spray and sprinkled with s&p. I baked at 350 for about 20-30 minutes and then stuck them under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to really crisp them up.

    They were great! Thanks for all your great recipes! =)

    1. Thanks for the baking tip, kp! I will try your method next time I make these. : )

  14. Wow, this looks awesome, nice photos too! I just heard of chickpea panisse and your recipe came up when I tried to find out details– looks like I'd better get myself some chickpea flour!

  15. I love socca but have never made them into fries! What! Where has this been all my life? Looks so delicious and fun! Can't wait to try these out!


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