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Chickpea Bruschetta

I like to make this recipe as a Cook's Treat, which is my term for a treat for the cook to enjoy while making dinner -- why should it be only work? It's also a great way to keep the family at bay when dinner is nearly done. Flecked with parsley, sundried tomatoes and bright lemony goodness, these bruschetta are not only a nutritious snack packed with protein and flavor, they're also a beautiful addition to any cocktail party.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 20 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 bruschetta
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Ingredients

One 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

5 oil-packed sundried tomatoes, chopped, plus 1/4 cup oil from the marinated tomatoes

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 long ciabatta (about a 1-pound loaf)

1 to 2 cloves garlic, optional

Directions

  1. Parmigiano-Reggiano or ricotta salata, optional
  2. Heat a grill, grill pan or your tostapane over medium heat (see Cook's Note).
  3. Place the chickpeas in a bowl and lightly mash with the back of a spoon. Stir in the sundried tomatoes and their oil, lemon zest and juice, parsley, and olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Slice your ciabatta into 3/4- to 1-inch slices. Toast to lightly char on both sides.
  5. Rub the bread with a clove of garlic, if using, and spoon some chickpea mixture on top. Drizzle with olive oil. If you like, shave some Parmigiano-Reggiano or ricotta salata over the top.

Cook’s Note

A tostapane is a stainless steel stovetop toaster used in Italy. You can purchase them at Italian specialty stores or online. If you don't have one, a grill pan or even a gas grill will work perfectly.