Festive Chickpea Tart

This savory tart takes center plate with its combination of chickpeas, crunchy walnuts, spinach, and seasonings nestled together. This dish is elegant enough to serve for holiday gatherings, but also easy enough to make for a family dinner any time of the year.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
4-5 medium-large garlic cloves, minced
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
Few pinches freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chickpeas, reserve 1/3 cup
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp tamari
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1/3 cup rolled oats (optional, see note)
1 - 10 oz pckg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess water (about 1 cup after squeezing)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 tsp dried thyme added to puree)

1 prepared whole-wheat pastry pie crust, thawed (see note)
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp tamari
2 tbsp walnuts, chopped (for topping, no need to toast beforehand)

Directions
Add oil, onion, celery, garlic, salt and pepper in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook 9-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and turning golden. In a food processor, add chickpeas (except reserved 1/3 cup), lemon juice, tamari, sage, salt, and sautéed mixture, and partially puree (not fully like hummus, but leaving some chunkier consistency). Add toasted walnuts and oats, and briefly pulse to lightly break up nuts. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in spinach, cranberries, parsley, thyme, and reserved chickpeas. Transfer mixture to pie shell (or lightly oiled pie plate, see note), smoothing to evenly distribute. Combine oil and tamari, and brush over top. Sprinkle on walnuts. Bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until tart is golden on edges and top. Cool 5-10 minutes, then serve with cranberry sauce, a spoon drizzling of oil/balsamic vinegar slurry, or other sauce of choice.  Serves 4-5.

Note: The rolled oats, while lending some structure to the tart, can easily be omitted.

Note: This tart can be made without the pastry crust, if needed. Do not over bake as tart will tend to dry out without a crust.

Photo credit: www.toliveandeatinla.com

Recipe © copyright 2007 Dreena Burton.

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