Farro & Chickpea Cakes with Avocado “Aioli” & Cherry Tomatoes
The farro for this deliciously crispy crab cake-like dish is purposely a little overcooked and sticky to help the cakes hold their shape during cooking. An avocado aioli-style sauce and tomatoes on top add creaminess, brightness .
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas or BPA-free-canned unsalted chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
1.2 cup diced shallots
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1.2 tsp ground cumin
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
8 butter lettuce leaves
1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
To a medium saucepan on medium-high, add farro and 1¼ cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, then cover and cook until farro is very tender, about 30 minutes. Drain farro, if necessary, then transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mash avocado, yogurt and garlic until mixture is relatively smooth. Add salt, to taste; set aside.
In a small bowl, lightly mash chickpeas to yield some crushed pieces, some partial pieces and some whole. To large bowl with farro, add chickpeas, panko, shallots, parsley, cumin and ½ tsp salt; stir in eggs. With damp hands, shape mixture into 8 ¾-inch-thick cakes. (TIP: Arrange cakes on 2 flat plates to make it easy to slide them into the skillet later.)
In each of 2 medium skillets on medium, heat 1 tbsp oil. Carefully add 4 cakes to each skillet and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Arrange lettuce leaves on plates or a platter and top each leaf with a cake. Sprinkle with tomatoes and spoon on avocado mixture.
Aside from ample health benefits in Sonja Finn's low-cal salad, there's a bounty of textures and flavors to experience – from the chewy feel of farro between your teeth, juxtaposed with smooth and creamy avocado, to the tangy taste of the Chile-Mint Vinaigrette.
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