The tangy chickpea crostini at New York's Babbo restaurant inspired this appetizer.
Fast Hors d'Oeuvres
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
One 19-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
Twelve 1/2 -inch-thick Italian bread slices
About 1/2 pound sliced soppressata or other coarse Italian salami
One large fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 12 thin wedges
How to Make It
Preheat the broiler. In a medium skillet, combine the shallots and rosemary with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and cook over moderately low heat until the shallots soften, about 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas, water and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, coarsely mashing the chickpeas, until heated through. Stir in the vinegar and keep warm.
Brush the bread slices on both sides with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet. Broil the bread about 4 inches from the heat for about 1 minute per side, or until the slices are golden and crisp.
Arrange the sliced soppressata and fennel wedges around the edge of a long serving platter. Spread the toasts with the warm mashed chickpeas and arrange them in the center of the platter. Drizzle the chickpea toasts with olive oil, sprinkle with pepper and serve.
The recipe can be prepared through Step 2 up to 4 hours ahead; keep the toasts and mashed chickpeas at room temperature. Rewarm the chickpeas before serving.
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