Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are used in many different ways all across Italy. We decided to use chickpea flour, transforming it into a “polenta” called panissa. Mixed with broth, garlic and salt, then chilled to set, the finger-like strips are fried until golden brown. Paired with a glass of prosecco or a beer, they’re more addictive (and better!) than fries.
Oil a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23 cm) rectangular baking pan and line with parchment paper, letting it hang over two sides.
In a bowl, combine the chickpea flour and half of the broth (2 cups/500 ml) with a whisk.
In a saucepan, bring the remaining broth (2 cups/500 ml) and the garlic to a boil. Drizzle in the chickpea mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Season with salt and pepper. Let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Spoon into the pan and spread into an even layer. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until the mixture is firm to the touch.
On a work surface, delicately unmould the chickpea mixture. Cut into 48 sticks (4 rows widthwise and 12 pieces lengthwise).
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat ½ inch (1 cm) of oil to 325°F (165°C). Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
Fry about a quarter of the chickpea sticks at a time for 8 minutes or until golden brown and crispy, turning them halfway through cooking. Drain on the paper towels. Fry the remaining sticks.
Sprinkle with fleur de sel, to taste, and serve as an hors d’oeuvre.
Recipes with the "Healthy Pick" stamp have been evaluated by a registered dietitian member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec.