*They can also be baked in an oven at 350ºF for about 15 minutes, flipping halfway through or grilled for a few minutes on each side.
Makes 4-6 patties
In previous posts, I've mentioned that I never enjoyed eating animal products as a kid. I decided to become a vegetarian at a very young age, around 10 years old. However, I did continue eating seafood for a while longer. One of my favorite foods were crab cakes. I loved the bright flavors, lots of lemon, and crunch from the fresh veggies. In my opinion, they were the perfect blend of summer smushed into one delicious patty. For me, recreating that delicious blend was a must.
I chose to use chickpeas as my base because.. well, because I love chickpeas. I also chose them based on color. Since we are going to be adding fresh veggies, I really wanted the colors to stand out. Not to mention, when they are fried or grilled, you get a really lovely brown on the outside. To add texture to these crab cakes, I chose to use grated zucchini. It may not have the most crab-like texture, but I was focused more on flavors in this recipe. For a texture closer to crab cakes, replace the zucchini with roughly chopped artichoke hearts or hearts of palm. Another reason I chose to use zucchini is that it's a whole food and artichoke hearts or hearts of palm are most often found in cans. I'm not a fan of using canned goods too often.
For some crunch, we'll be using finely chopped celery and red bell pepper. I love the crisp, freshness of celery. I know some people hate it for the string-y texture, but chopped up and mixed into a patty like this one or a salad, it's really lovely. The red bell pepper also adds a nice crunch and a bit of sweetness. I've also included a mixture of spices reminiscent of Old Bay seasoning. I find that pre-mixed seasonings such as Old Bay or Cajun seasonings are far too salty. However, if you prefer or have it on hand, feel free to use it to taste. We've also thrown in plenty of scallions and lemon juice.
Finally, I chose to top the chickpea cakes with a scallion aioli. I have yet to perfect my vegan mayo recipe. As you can see in some of the pictures, it began to melt from the heat of the crab cakes. While I work on stabilizing my mayo recipe, I would suggest using your favorite store-bought or homemade vegan mayo and folding in scallions, a bit more lemon juice, and black pepper. Typically, crab cakes are served with mashed potatoes, but I like to keep them light. In my opinion, the mayo is enough of a creamy contrast that the side should be something fresh and simple. The first time I made these, I grilled some corn and asparagus, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. The second time, I opted for a fresh salad. Had I thought of it earlier, I would have done something with celery root and fennel. Here's your opportunity to get creative! I would love to see what you pair these guys with and how you present them. If you instagram, be sure to tag us when you try our recipes using #cookitkind or @cookitkind.
Baltimore Style Chickpea Cakes (Gluten-Free)
My name is Ellen Jane and I spend my free time doing vegan experiments in my kitchen so you don't have to. Take a look around.