Chickpea Cutlets

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My wife found this recipe online and asked me to try making it. I’d never even heard of vital wheat gluten before. It’s used here to bind the mixture together, though I’m not sure why it doesn’t just use flour. I wouldn’t say this is the tastiest recipe, but it isn’t bad, and if you’re looking for good flexitarian fare, these aren’t bad. When cooked, patties look a lot like hamburgers.

1 cup canned chickpeas
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup vital wheat gluten
½ cup plain breadcrumbs
¼ cup vegetable broth or water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon paprika
olive oil, for pan frying

In a food processor, blend the chickpeas together with the oil to a rough paste. Add the remaining ingredients and blend together until a ball forms, then remove to a lightly floured surface, and knead for a short while.

Preheat a large heavy-bottomed nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, divide the cutlet dough into 4 equal pieces. To form cutlets, knead each piece in your hand for a few moments and then flatten and stretch each one into a roughly 6 by 4 inch rectangular cutlet shape.

Add a moderately thin layer of olive oil to the bottom of the pan. Place the cutlets in the pan and cook on each side for 6 to 7 minutes. Add more oil, if needed, when you flip the cutlets. They’re ready when lightly browned and firm to the touch.