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Chickpea Panelle with Goat Cheese and Salsa Rustica
© John Kernick

Chickpea Panelle with Goat Cheese and Salsa Rustica

  • ACTIVE: 1 HR
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR plus overnight resting

The Good News Traditional panelle, the popular Sicilian chickpea fritter, is deep-fried. Melissa Kelly forms her panelle onto a sheet, lightly sprinkles it with goat cheese and bakes it. Then she cuts the panelle into pieces and sautés them until they're crisp.


  1. 1 1/3 cups chickpea flour (5 ounces)
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. Freshly ground pepper
  5. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for frying
  6. 3 tablespoons snipped chives
  7. 1 1/2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
  8. 1 teaspoon minced rosemary
  9. 3/4 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese

Salsa Rustica

  1. 1 3/4 pounds tomatoes, halved crosswise and seeded
  2. 1 small red onion, quartered
  3. 1 poblano chile, quartered
  4. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 2 tablespoons capers, chopped
  7. 2 tablespoons chopped oil-cured black olives
  8. 4 anchovy fillets, minced
  9. 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  10. 1 1/2 tablespoons shredded basil leaves
  11. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the chickpea flour with the water until smooth. Add the salt and pepper, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 475°. Heat a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes. Add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the sheet and tilt to coat. Stir the chickpea batter. Add the chives, parsley and rosemary and pour onto the sheet. Bake for 2 minutes. Sprinkle the goat cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes, until golden and firm. Let cool slightly.
  3. Heat a large cast-iron griddle or grill pan. Toss the tomatoes, red onion and poblano with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the vegetables to the griddle and cook over high heat until charred all over, about 5 minutes. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and finely chop the onion and poblano. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and add the garlic, capers, olives, anchovies, vinegar, basil and the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Season the salsa with salt and pepper.
  4. Cut the panelle into 12 rectangles. Heat 1/8 inch of oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the panelle and cook over high heat until crisp on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Drain the panelle and serve with the salsa.
Notes One Serving 358 cal, 26 gm fat, 5.0 gm saturated fat, 24 gm carb, 5 gm fiber.
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