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October 30, 2017
Chickpea flour is a revelation to anyone beginning to explore vegan cuisine. It's an amazing binder, and when whisked into a batter and simmered or baked takes on an interesting, egg like texture. Sometimes it's labeled besan or gram flour. There is no substitute for it in this recipe.
Vegan Spanish tortilla
2 ½ T olive oil, divided
1 ¼ lb potatoes, preferably Yukon gold or similar
½ c diced onion
1 t fresh thyme
1 c chickpea flour
3 c water
¼ t turmeric
Peel the potatoes and slice thinly. Toss with 1½ T olive oil. Spread potato slices out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast at 350 for about 15 minutes. You want the potatoes cooked through, but not browned. Set aside. Oil an 8x8 baking dish. Tip- you can toss the potatoes with the oil in your baking dish, and the residual oil left in the pan will suffice. Saute the onion in 1 T oil. Add ½ t salt. Add the thyme, stir well and remove from heat.
Put the chickpea flour, water, ¼ t salt and turmeric in a blender and puree. Pour into a saucepan and, whisking frequently, bring to a boil over medium high heat. Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon. When the mixture becomes extremely thick and starts to pull away from the side of the pan, stir in the sauteed onions. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the cooked potatoes. Turn the mixture out into your baking dish and smooth the top. Let cool a bit at room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
When you're ready to serve the tortilla, preheat your oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and oil the parchment. Cut the tortilla into whatever shapes you like and carefully place each piece on the parchment an inch or more apart. I think it's best to place the pieces upside down on the baking sheet. The bottom side browns beautifully, and I like to serve that side up. It might still be pretty soft, and you may need to patch it up a bit. Once the pieces develop a crust and then cool slightly, they firm up nicely. Oil the tops and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and flip the pieces of tortilla. Bake for another 5-10 minutes. Let rest on the baking sheet, out of the oven, for a few minutes before serving.