Editor’s note: Andrea Weigl seeks recipes from Triangle restaurants requested by readers.
I’ve enjoyed many a marinated chickpea sandwich at my favorite bakery, Night Kitchen in Seaboard Station. It’s bright, fresh and delightfully different in its flavor – perfect for a veggie lover. I wonder if the proprietors would share their recipe.
The marinated chickpea sandwich at Night Kitchen in Raleigh is simply scrumptious. Would you be able to publish the recipe? I’m a vegan and I think it’s the best vegan sandwich in Raleigh!
When Night Kitchen Bakehouse and Cafe owner Helen Pfann opened her Raleigh bakery in 2014, she thought she’d add the classic hummus/sprouts/pickled veggie sandwich to the menu.
Pfann said her friend, chef Amanda Orser, who now works at Littler in Durham, suggested something different: the marinated chickpea sandwich from “Top Chef” judge Tom Collichio’s cookbook, “Wichcraft.” (Pfann and Orser know each other from their times spent in the kitchen at the now-closed Magnolia Grill restaurant.)
The sandwich, which combines a marinated chickpea spread, roasted red peppers, diced Kalamata olives and preserved lemons, hasn’t left the menu since the bakery opened. It goes for $7.25.
“Every so often sales slump a little, and we talk about switching it out but then it does a turnaround,” Pfann wrote in an email. “Also, as the ingredients are always available, it makes a good year-round option.”
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Night Kitchen Bakehouse and Cafe, 10 W. Franklin St., Suite 140, Raleigh, 984-232-8907, raleighnightkitchen.com
Marinated Chickpea Sandwich
Night Kitchen Bakehouse and Cafe owner Helen Pfann said several components of this sandwich require preparations several days in advance. It’s the curse of restaurant recipes, she says. She has given thorough instructions for how to do each of the sandwich components, though.
Pfann suggests a few variations: Make with white beans such as cannellini, or add mint or chives to the parsley. Recipe tester’s note: If you want to cheat a little or not have to wait six days to be able to eat this sandwich, you can buy roasted red peppers and preserved lemons.
Adapted from “Wichcraft: Craft a Sandwich into a Meal – And a Meal into a Sandwich,” by Tom Colicchio (Clarkson Potter, 2009).
1 head garlic
2 red bell peppers
3 lemons, divided
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon minced shallots
2/3 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3 cups canned chickpeas, drained
2 teaspoons roasted garlic puree
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
Sliced bread, such as nine-grain, sourdough, whole wheat or ciabatta
1 to 2 tablespoons minced Kalamata olives
1 to 2 tablespoons minced preserved lemon
Make garlic puree: Heat oven to 350 to 375 degrees. Place head of garlic (or more if you want to make extra) in a small metal baking pan and cover with oil “up to their shoulders.” Cover with foil. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour until a paring knife slides easily into the garlic. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Strain off oil; save that, you’ll find other uses for it as well. Pop the cloves of garlic out of their jackets and buzz in a food processor. The puree will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
Make roasted red peppers: Cut peppers in half, remove seeds and rub skins with oil. Place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in a 400-degree oven or broil for 20 to 30 minutes until the skins are blistered and dark. Allow pepper to cool, then peel skins off, and chop peppers. The peppers will keep about a week refrigerated.
Make preserved lemons: Wash the lemons with soap and dry. Thinly slice two lemons, using a mandoline if you have one. Lay lemon slices one by one in a shallow plastic container, sprinkling each layer with minced shallots and a big pinch of salt. When layers are complete, press plastic wrap on top and set in the refrigerator.
Let sit for three days, then flip the whole batch into a second container of the same size and again press plastic wrap down. Let sit two more days, then unpack the slices, picking out any seeds and the bits of shallots. Pack the lemon slices up in a container and pour olive oil to cover.
Combine red onion and red wine vinegar in a small bowl; set aside for 5 minutes.
Roughly chop the chickpeas in a food processor.
Combine chickpeas, onions, vinegar, garlic puree, cayenne pepper, zest and juice of remaining lemon and parsley. Stir together and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Smear the chickpea over two slices of crusty bread and sprinkle with Kalamata olives and preserved lemon. Layer with roasted red peppers, lettuce and a few extra sprigs of parsley.
Yield: 2-3 sandwiches