This is one my absolute favorite recipes anywhere, which comes from Mario Batali and more specifically from his restaurant Babbo. It's the first amuse-bouche bite you receive upon being welcomed to the restaurant and the flavor is, to me, a distillation of Tuscan cuisine. Whenever I eat this dish I think of my time living in Florence and the nostalgia nearly overwhelms me. The chickpea mixture is quick to throw together, wonderfully flavorful, and hearty enough to be a perfectly satisfying quick meal. The only addition I make to the recipe as written is to add a shower of parmesan to finish the bruschetta. Also, if you want to ensure your chickpeas won't roll off the toast you can gently mash your mixture with a muddler and the topping will adhere better.
Below is the recipe as depicted on Serious Eats!
- 1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons black olive paste
- 2 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, finely shredded.
- 1 garlic clove, or coarsley chopped
- Thick crusty bread
Mix all ingredients together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes, preferably longer.
Toast the bread or grill it for more dramatic presentation. Spoon mixture on bread, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.