Chilean merquén, one of our favorite seasonings, is made from sun-dried chiles that are smoked and ground, then blended with other ingredients such as toasted cumin and salt. Professional chefs are just beginning to discover it! Find merquén at amazon.com.
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use, plus more for serving
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved if large
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained (see Note), rinsed
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sherry or red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon merquén or smoked paprika (optional)
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup coarsely grated queso fresco or crumbled feta (about 5 oz.)
- Baby greens, such as arugula, kale, or spinach
- Lemon wedges, for serving
Place a rack in the top third of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Whisk the chickpea flour, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 cup water in a medium bowl or large measuring cup until combined. Let sit at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour to let the flour hydrate.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Pour in exactly half (3/4 cup) of the chickpea batter and tilt to evenly coat the skillet. Transfer to the oven and bake the flatbread until the edges are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a large spatula, transfer the flatbread to a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Meanwhile, cook the tomatoes, garlic, 1/4 cup of olive oil, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the whole tomatoes begin to burst, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas, oregano, vinegar, and merquén (if using). Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have formed a fully chunky sauce, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.
Slice the flatbreads in half. Serve with the tomato-chickpea mixture, cheese, greens, and lemon wedges alongside for squeezing and olive oil for drizzling.
Note: The liquid from drained chickpeas is called aquafaba, and is used by many vegans and vegetarians to lighten baked goods or make egg-free meringues.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from epicurious.com, March 2019